Thrift stores are no longer a place solely for penny-pinching individuals looking for some new clothes on the cheap. Around 16-18% of all Americans shop in thrift stores, and about 12-15% hit up consignment or resale shops. Young shoppers know, thanks in part to Macklemore’s 2012 hit song “Thrift Shop,” that thrift stores are a great place to find unique items and one-of-a-kind pieces.
The idea that they’re purchasing something used gives some customers a little subconscious pat on the back, like they’re recycling clothing instead of letting it collect in the landfill. Adele R. Meyer, the executive director of NARTS, told The Orange County Register, “Ecology recycling is a major factor in driving people to this industry. People would rather consign their unwanted items then add to the waste stream.”
Thrift shopping is a section of retail that is still minimally effected by shopper’s shifting experience expectations. The mystery surrounding what might be found at the store is enough of a surprise that it keeps shoppers coming back for more.
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Even with the growing popularity of thrifting, though, there are still a few adjustments thrift and consignment stores can make to attract even more customers and develop its reputation as a must-visit spot for shoppers looking to fill their wardrobe with unique, one-of-a-kind options.
Play To Your Strengths
Thrift and consignment is all about recycling. With a blatantly obvious connection to environmental sustainability, resale-based stores have a leg-up when it comes to appealing to consumers’ emotions. Creating advertising campaigns that remind customers that shopping at your store keeps clothes from being added to ever-growing piles at the dump can help them not only feel motivated to come shop, but also gives them a small sense of accomplishment for their purchases.
Consider Your sales
Low prices are already a huge attractor for resale stores. However, adding discounts on top of those prices could make the difference between a customer buying one item or three. Daily or weekly deals on certain items can help clear out sections that are getting overstocked. Adding last-chance or $1 buy bins can encourage customers to come back regularly to see what’s up for grabs. If your store also sells larger items like furniture or used electronics, consider offering negotiable pricing options to your store. If customers feel like they can haggle an already-low price even lower, they’ll feel encouraged to come back again another time.
freshen up your store
It’s really amazing what simple modifications can do. Adding a fresh coat of paint to your stores walls or adding some displays with some of your more chic or unique pieces can go a long way when it comes to attracting new customers. Even additions like a chalkboard sign outside with quirky daily quotes or daily deals can make a world of difference. Goodwill has slowly been transforming some of its stores into boutiques, nicer-looking stores with an antique industrial feel to them. Atmosphere improvements are always a great way to catch wandering shoppers’ attention, as well as keep customers browsing in the store longer.