Used Merchandise Stores
Companies in this industry sell used merchandise such as clothing, antiques, furniture, books, and jewelry. Major companies include Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Savers, and Winmark (all based in the US), Bookoff (Japan), and Oxfam (UK).
The used merchandise stores industry in the US includes about 20,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $17.5 billion.
The industry includes resale shops, consignment shops, thrift shops, and antique stores. Excluded are stores that sell used cars, boats, trailers, and mobile homes. Pawn shops, which sell a variety of used merchandise but generate most of their revenue from interest and fees on loans, are discussed in this profile but not included in store count, revenue, or employment statistics.
Demographics, consumer income, and consumer tastes drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient procurement and effective merchandising. Large companies have advantages in marketing and finance. Small companies can compete effectively by offering specialty products, serving a local market, or providing superior customer service. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest US companies account for about 30% of sales.
Used merchandise stores compete with retailers offering new merchandise, as well as with individuals selling used merchandise privately or through websites, such as eBay or Craigslist, or product swapping through services like Freecycle. Used furniture and antique stores compete with auction houses.
Thanks to a recent influx of new competitors and investor money, the resale market is undergoing consolidation. More than $400 million was invested in the sector between 2009 and 2015, according to online apparel reseller thredUP. Resale disruptors such as thredUP, TheRealReal, and Poshmark grew about five times faster than traditional resale between 2017 and 2018, and 24 times faster than the broader apparel resale market, according to thredUP's 2018 annual report.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include used clothing, footwear, and accessories (about half of sales), used books (about 15%), and used furniture, appliances, and other
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms