Resale stores see business increase amid high inflation rates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) — Like almost everything else on store shelves, the price of clothing has seen steep increases in 2021.

Clothing prices rose nearly 6%, according to Market Watch. And according to the 2022 State of Fashion Report by Business of Fashion and McKinsey and Co. Foundation, two-thirds of industry executives plan to raise prices by 3% this year. This is a major reason why thrift stores and second-hand stores are seeing more business.

“We see an average of ten to fifteen new people, who have never been to the store, each week,” says Ann Compton, director of Next to New in Springfield.

Compton says Next to New saw its sales increase by about 20% from their normal number when the store reopened in 2020, and that number hasn’t slowed in recent months. It’s not just there. Allure Thrift Store in Springfield has seen sales increase 20% in the past four to five months.

“When we talk to customers, they let us know that prices everywhere are ridiculous right now,” says Gladstone Morrison, co-owner of Allure Thrift Store. “They want to be able to manage their finances a little better. It just dramatically affected everyone. For a business owner like me, we tend to minimize or marginalize our prices to keep everyone happy.

The Plaid Door store, which is operated by the Springfield nonprofit Junior League, has also seen more people interested in its resale offering. Allison Robertson of the non-profit organization says that if you’re in a situation where you have to watch what you spend, that doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel good in what you wear.

“When we think of resale, we think you’re compromising and getting someone’s leftovers or someone’s second hand,” says Robertson. “But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still have fashion, brand names and things that match those who buy from really fancy stores. So they don’t have to mean the same thing.

According to Textile Exchange, the demand for recycled clothing accounts for about 10% of the market. But there are other reasons buyers may choose to resell. A 2021 resale report by ThreadUp shows that 51% of consumers are more opposed to green waste and 60% are more opposed to wasting money than before the pandemic. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 11 million tonnes of clothing ended up in landfill in 2018.

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