The current U.S. unemployment rate is at a near 50-year low. While the record 3.5 percent unemployment rate indicates the health of the overall economy, there’s also an impact on those returning to the workforce, moving up the rungs within their organization or switching careers.
Particularly appealing to today’s changing workforce demographics are Winmark’s resale clothing concepts like Style Encore®. This concept bridges the gap between style and professionalism while merging high quality with affordability.
Style Encore franchisees experience consistent demand from working women looking to dress professionally on a budget, making for a franchise opportunity that is just as in-demand as it is fulfilling for owners.
A Product Mix that Matches Consumer Preferences and Budgets
Winmark's brands are carefully designed to fill the marketplace void between costly retail stores and low-quality, secondhand retail experiences. Style Encore is no different, providing a vibrant mix of high-quality, gently used apparel, shoes and accessories specifically for women in their 20s and beyond.
Whereas many clothing retailers target teenagers and younger demographics, Style Encore’s unique tilt toward professional women helps ensure strong demand for the niche concept.
Growing Demand from a Younger, Increasingly Female Workforce
Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. More than one-third of Americans in the labor force, or 56 million workers, are millennials: men and women ages 23 to 38 in 2019. In 2016, millennials surpassed Generation Xers (ages 39 to 54 in 2019) to become the single largest generational group in the U.S. labor force.
Because resale concepts’ inherently green nature appeals to this millennial demographic, Style Encore franchisees are positioned for strong demand among an increasingly younger workforce.
Millennials and Generation Z are more environmentally conscious than any other generational cohort, and the vast majority of them say sustainability is a top shopping priority. The resale industry appeals to these consumers because it promotes recycling and sustainability, by keeping billions of items out of landfills.
Resale concepts also discourage manufacturers from overproducing clothes and other consumer goods. This helps reduce air and water pollution while circumventing many other environmental pitfalls caused by the fashion industry.
Not only are more millennials entering the workforce than any other demographic, but more women have also been actively participating in the labor market, creating additional demand for concepts like Style Encore.
The increase of women in the paid workforce was arguably the most significant change in the economy in the past century. In the U.S., women’s participation in the labor market has nearly doubled, from 34 percent in 1950 to almost 57 percent in 2016. When it passed 50 percent in 1978, working women became the norm.
As more women have entered the working world, demand for women’s business casual and business professional attire surged. Concepts like Style Encore, which appeal to an increasingly younger, female workforce, are set for strong demand and future growth with the modern professional climate.
Helping Today’s Professional Dress for Success in Different Roles
At the same time, today’s workers are also notorious job hoppers. In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average U.S. employee will have 12 jobs in their lifetime; gone are the days when most workers will tout a decades-long tenure.
As employees adapt to different job roles, expectations and dress codes, Style Encore offers today’s workers a unique, all-encompassing opportunity to switch out past clothes for an updated closet. Resale concepts not only help shoppers refresh their wardrobe to match their new role accordingly, but they also provide businesspeople a place to sell their gently used clothing from past jobs.
This offers professionals a waste-free and cost-effective alternative to simply discarding their clothes and buying an all-new wardrobe for each different role. With many peoples’ closets worth upwards of $5,000, Style Encore franchisees are able to help consumers save hundreds or thousands of dollars on their professional clothes.
Because Style Encore franchisees are able to help working women dress professionally on a budget, the resale businesses are just as fulfilling for owners as their clothing is in-demand among professionals.
To learn more about Style Encore, fill out a franchise form today.