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What are the Advantages of Obtaining Inventory from the Local Community?

When it comes to supply chain and inventory management, the retailers have to deal with complex systems that can create an expanding list of issues. From disappearing inventory due to glitches within retail warehouse technologies to miscommunicating platform systems, business owners are at risk of extended waiting periods to receive their products, which can negatively impact customers’ experiences in stores and online.

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However, those within the resale sector can breathe a sigh of relief – thanks to a simplified supply chain by using local consumers as inventory suppliers. Not only are resale business owners creating a sustainable economic cycle by using community members as both suppliers and customers, but they can also actively contribute to helping the environment. Here are just a few of the positive outcomes of getting product inventory from the local community:

Waste Reduction

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution, from growing piles of clothing items that may take over 200 years to decompose to severe water pollution and carbon emissions.

Fast fashion has sprung into popularity with its ability to keep consumers up to date on trends for a cheap price. However, this type of apparel doesn’t tend to last very long and usually ends up being thrown away – adding to the growing pile of waste the fashion industry accumulates. Textile waste currently accounts for 15 million tons of garbage, and 85 percent of all textiles end up in landfills each year.

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Thankfully, consumers are also more aware of the impact the fashion industry has on the environment and are looking for more sustainable options for their retail purchases. Resale stores help prolong the life of high-quality garments while acting as a barrier between consumers and contributing to future environmental damage. In 2019, the five resale brands under the Winmark umbrella were able to save more than 154 million items from ending up in landfills, and over $1 billion of used merchandise was resold within local communities.

Supply Chain Complexity Reduction

Unlike the resale sector where the supply chain is coming directly from community members, corporate retailers have to deal with incredibly complex supply chains. Any of their products that end up on the rack or shelves has most likely gone through multiple countries before being put on display within the store. If the item is made from natural fibers, like cotton, the cotton is grown one place and then shipped to the factory where it becomes fabric that will turn into a T-shirt. The shirt is then shipped to its multiple destinations to be placed in an inventory warehouse and will eventually make its way into the store.

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If there is any disruption along the way for the product, retailers will face challenges in sourcing and selling their goods – making it difficult to maintain consumer interest. And in a world that is currently heavily reliant on ecommerce, retailers face the risks of components of their supply chain shutting down, or even experience technology glitches that may cause inventory to disappear or not update from their warehouse – creating a difficult shopping experience for the consumer.

Winmark has created a centralized system for its franchisees that syncs with their POS systems and automatically updates their online catalogs. Not only does this system remove the need to manually plug in updates daily, but it also provides franchisees the ability to select which items they’re willing to ship or sell in-store – creating an easy way to shop online for consumers.

Cutting Down on Pollution from International and Domestic Shipping

Being able to ship products to consumers, no matter their location, has become a defining pillar of maintaining revenue from your business. However, the ability to provide products to a global market has a steep price – detrimental impact on the environment. Shipping containers produce more greenhouse gas emissions than some small countries – especially since the oceanic freight industry doesn’t have as many environmentally friendly regulations to follow.

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Breathing New Life into Items within Local Communities

One of the positive aspects of providing a resale business within the community is that it offers an incredible value to its consumers. Resale shops give community members access to high-quality used products at the fraction of the original cost – helping families stay within budget as they shop. Thanks to resale franchises, families can reduce how much they spend on clothing by between 70 and 90 percent of regular retail costs. Instead of having to replace an item with a cheap, short-term product, consumers can feel at ease buying a higher quality item that will last much longer.

Fortunately, resale franchises can offer up an alternative to local communities with their unique, high-quality array of products at an affordable price. Instead of looking to a fast fashion retail conglomerate, consumers can shop locally and feel good about supporting small businesses while helping out the environment.

Looking to join a franchise that boosts local community economies and helps out the environment? Download one of our franchise packets today!