Used Merchandise Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 12,600 used merchandise retailers in the US resell previously-owned goods, except for motor vehicles (autos, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles). Major revenue categories include used clothing, antiques, furniture, collectibles, books, and jewelry. Antiques are items over 100 years old. Collectibles may be old, but less than 100 years old. The industry includes permanent flea markets, but excludes pawn shops.

Variable Supply

Sources of supply for the used merchandise industry can vary and are often erratic.

More Resale Shoppers

More shoppers plan to frequent resale stores, as the used merchandise industry evolves and adopts features of the traditional retail model.

Industry size & Structure

The average used merchandise retailer operates out of a single location, employs 16 workers, and generates over $1 million annually.

    • The used merchandise retail industry consists of about 12,600 firms that employ about 206,200 workers and generate $24.4 billion annually.
    • The used merchandise industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for 33% of industry revenue.
    • The industry includes chains, franchises, and independent operators.
    • Large firms include Savers, Once Upon a Child, and Play-It-Again Sports.
    • Large non-profit service organizations, such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army, operate used merchandise retail locations.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Used Merchandise Stores Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Nov 7, 2023 - Slower Growth Expected for Industry
                              • Weaker consumer spending and continued high price levels are expected to limit growth in the US used merchandise stores industry, which is projected to grow at a nearly 4% CAGR from 2022 to 2027, according to a recent Inforum forecast. This rate is slower than the projected growth of the overall economy. The forecast follows several years of volatility during the pandemic, with a sales decline of 10.3% in 2020, an increase of 17.6% in 2021, and an increase of 9.7% in 2022.
                              • Consumers are expected to spend an average of $875 on gifts, decorations, food, and seasonal items for the winter holidays, according to the latest National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. The 2023 projection is $42 more than 2022 and aligns with the average holiday budget in the past five years. Consumers are expected to spend about $620 on gifts and $255 on seasonal decorations, candy, and food. About 92% of US adults will celebrate an event such as Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, and more than 40% of shoppers will begin their holiday shopping before November. Top shopping destinations include online (58%), department stores (49%), discount stores (48%), and grocery stores and supermarkets (44%). Popular gifts planned include gift cards (55%), clothing or accessories (49%), books, video games, or other media (28%), and personal care or beauty items (25%). Gifts of experience are becoming more popular with holiday shoppers, with 23% planning to give one, compared to 19% in 2021.
                              • Consumer confidence levels fell in October 2023, marking three consecutive months of declines, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index declined to 102.6 in October 2023 from 104.2 in September 2023. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “Write-in responses showed that consumers continued to be preoccupied with rising prices in general, and for grocery and gasoline prices in particular. Consumers also expressed concerns about the political situation and higher interest rates. Worries around war/conflicts also rose, amid the recent turmoil in the Middle East.” Peterson added that the decline in consumer confidence was evident across householders aged 35 and up, and not limited to any one income group. Plans to purchase autos and appliances rose in October 2023, while plans to buy a home within the next six months weakened.
                              • The secondhand goods market is projected to reach $276 billion by 2028 from an estimated $188.5 billion in 2023, according to the 2023 Recommerce Report from OfferUp in Chain Store Age. The report estimates secondhand sales will account for 8% of the total retail market by 2028, a 2% increase compared to 2023. Consumer interest is driving the growth. About 85% of surveyed consumers now buy or sell secondhand goods, and 27% ventured into the secondhand market for the first time within the past year. About a quarter of secondhand sales are clothing, while the remainder are other items such as furniture, electronics, sporting goods, and auto parts.
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