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 Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

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

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

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 13,500 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 11 workers, and generates $1 million annually.

    • The used merchandise retail industry consists of about 13,500 firms that employ about 148,500 workers and generate $15.4 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

                              Coronavirus Update

                              Apr 24, 2022 - Mask Mandates In Flux
                              • Price inflation for new goods has prompted many used merchandise store operators to offer discounts in hopes of attracting even more customers. Competition is increasing however, as brick-and-mortar retailers like Lululemon launch or expand resale programs as they pull back on seasonal discounting. Some resale companies are still trying to figure out how to frame inflation in their marketing. Poshmark chief marketing officer Steven Tristan Young said that the company hasn’t officially positioned its listings as an alternative to out-of-stocks and inflation. “Supply chain-related concerns aren’t sexy to market,” Young said. “But we’re trying to figure out how to better frame resale as an option amid rising inflation.”
                              • Local leaders and health officials are struggling with changing conditions as they manage their mask mandates. The city of Philadelphia, PA, reinstated in mid-April a mandate requiring a mask to be worn in indoor public spaces, only to cancel it within days due to what city board of health members called "decreasing hospitalizations and a leveling of case counts." Officials are again requiring masks to be worn on all public transit within Los Angeles County, CA, including buses, trains, taxis, and ride-hailing service vehicles. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that the order is based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's opinion that mask-wearing on transit remains an essential step in preventing spread of COVID-19. Used merchandise stores may be negatively impacted if foot traffic decreases due to uncertainty caused by changing requirements.
                              • Used merchandise stores are benefiting from supply chain problems that are creating shortages of some products. “As supply chains everywhere are slowed down and items people have ordered are waiting somewhere in a cargo container, you’re able to go to your local thrift store,” said store owner Julie LaFontaine. “You’re able to walk in, you’re able to browse and find items that you were looking for, maybe something you weren’t looking for. and very often, by the nature of thrifting, you’re seeing items that remind you of a fairer time, a happier place. You might say, ‘My grandmother had one of these.’”
                              • Nearly half of consumers surveyed for EY’s Future Consumer Index said that they’ve realized during the pandemic that they have too many clothes. Some 44% said that when they shop for anything, not just clothing, brands are now less of a factor, and 53% said that they’re now more likely to repair something than replace it. Around half of respondents said that they were shopping differently for financial reasons, while nearly a third said that they were driven by sustainability, a trend that is likely to last beyond the pandemic.
                              • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that cleaning once a day is usually enough to minimize the chance of coronavirus transmission in most settings. Used merchandise stores are likely to benefit if the guidance results in lower pandemic-related cleaning costs. The CDC did identify one appropriate situation for deep cleaning: an indoor environment where a case of COVID-19 had been confirmed within the past 24 hours.
                              • Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may benefit used merchandise stores that have been negatively impacted by earlier guidance stating that the coronavirus can live on surfaces, including clothing, for days. The CDC coronavirus web page says that "COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, including between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet)." The page also says that "Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads."
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