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 $1 million annually.

    • The used merchandise retail industry consists of about 12,600 firms that employ about 206,200 workers and generate $24.3 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

                              May 10, 2023 - Visits to Thrift Stores Up in Q1
                              • Thrift stores and off-price chains in the US experienced a visit boost in the first quarter of 2023, with visits to both categories up over 5% amid continued inflation, according to The growth in visits has been driven by a continued trade-down by consumers to discount sellers. The thrift store category had tremendous year-over-year growth in 2022, outperforming traditional and off-price retail categories every quarter. said the trend continued in Q1 2023, with thrift stores outperforming in visit growth. During an unstable economy, consumers see thrift stores as a great way to get their hands on “new” styles and name brands at a discount. Value orientation will be a driver of visits as inflation continues. Thrift stores also benefit from being aligned with the style preferences of their local market, offering sustainable shopping, and providing money for turning in resale items.
                              • Nearly 60% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire staff in April 2023, according to the monthly jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). Of those companies hiring or trying to hire, 92% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. About 24% of owners reported labor quality as their top business operating problem, and 9% reported labor costs as a top concern. According to NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg, “The labor market continues to be a big challenge for small business owners. More owners are raising compensation to compete, but labor quality remains a serious problem for owners.”
                              • The US secondhand apparel market is projected to reach $70 billion by 2027, driven by growing acceptance by consumers and retailers, according to the 2023 Resale Report by thredUP conducted by GlobalData. Over half of consumers shopped for secondhand apparel in 2022 amid economic uncertainty and sustainability concerns. Online resale is driving growth, with $38 billion in sales projected by 2027. Nearly 90 retailers launched dedicated resale programs in 2022, a 244% increase from 2021. According to GlobalData's Neil Saunders, "What's particularly striking this year is new detail around how much younger generations are expected to account for future growth as their purchasing power increases. Traditional retailers are responding to this demand by entering resale and are really the ones driving the market forward, and we expect increased adoption in retail as secondhand becomes more of a lifestyle for consumers."
                              • Consumer confidence levels increased slightly in March 2023 after falling for two consecutive months, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 104.2 in March 2023 from 103.4 in February 2023. According to Ataman Ozyildirim, a senior director of economics at The Conference Board, “Driven by an uptick in expectations, consumer confidence improved somewhat in March but remains below the average level seen in 2022 (104.5). The gain reflects an improved outlook for consumers under 55 years of age and for households earning $50,000 and over.” Plans to purchase appliances have cooled, while intentions for automobile purchases slightly improved in March 2023, per Ozyildirim.
                              Get A Demo

                              Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                              See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                              Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                              check out Vertical IQ today.

                              Request A Demo