Big Clothing Retailers are the New Threat to Thrift and Consignment Stores

It’s no secret that the retail apocalypse is raging on with thousands of stores closing and as a result giant clothing stores are looking to tap into the upsurging resale clothing industry. According to a new report from Coresight Research, US retailers have announced 6,000 store closings in 2019, compared with 5,864 store closings in all of 2018.

The recent announcement by the pharmacy retailer Fred’s that it would close more than 150 underperforming stores sees it join a growing list of retailers that are shuttering brick-and-mortar stores in a bid to save money during the rise of e-commerce. Charlotte Russe, Family Dollar, and Abercrombie & Fitch are among these stores, announcing the closing of more than 1,100 stores in just 24 hours in March. Additionally, Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, and Gap have also announced plans to shutter dozens of locations.

The U.S. resale clothing marketplace is exploding

In the wake of this retail apocalypse, big retailers such as Neiman Marcus and H&M are planning on invading the thrift and consignment business – used clothes and handbags. The resale clothing marketplace in the United States is exploding. Over the past three years, the secondhand clothing market has grown 21 times faster than the overall industry, according to a GlobalData Retail research report prepared by resale site ThredUp. The resale clothing industry is expected to nearly double from $28 billion today to $51 billion by 2023.

How does a local thrift and consignment store stay competitive?

Considering that retail giants such as Neiman Marcus and H&M are joining the lucrative thrift and consignment market alone with e-commerce websites like thredUP and luxury re-seller The RealReal, local thrift store owners need to adapt faster than ever.

Local thrift owners need to use strategies such as digital marketing, eBay account and social media such as Instagram and hold merchandise shows using Facebook’s live streaming feature, and stylist services to bring in revenue.

Additionally, a MUST have for local thrift and consignment stores is a highly optimized website with a shopping cart using multiple gateways! Your website should appear at least within the first two pages of Google search result for searches done in your local area. This process usually takes approximately six-months or more. Don’t get carry away by some so-called digital marketing firm charging you less and promising you a first page position on Google search. If you’re not careful, your site could be banned by Google if it’s done correctly. Look for a digital marketing agency that specializes in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and Digital Advertising.


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