The coronavirus pandemic and its economic and societal impacts have fundamentally rewired the way consumers live. Many were led to reevaluate their spending habits, which is a trend that’s expected to continue throughout 2021. This change in consumer habits is pushing retail businesses to navigate new ways to cater to consumers in an ever-changing climate. It’s no secret that standard operating procedures in the retail space have changed and will continue to change, yet resale retail brands are thriving despite new trends in consumer habits.
Resale retail brands aren’t as susceptible to the rise and fall of the economy as traditional retail stores, making them recession-resistant businesses. Winmark® retail franchises thrive during a down economy because they’re in a strong position to not only help consumers find in-demand products but also offer quality used items at a lower price point compared to traditional retailers.
With great support at the franchise level, the development of new ecommerce and omnichannel experiences and a growing inventory of valuable items, Winmark retail franchises are uniquely positioned to meet today’s consumer demand.
What Are Today’s Consumer Habits?
The societal effects of the coronavirus are plentiful. As Gartner explained, prior to the pandemic, consumers were living in a primarily and increasingly outward-focused culture, defined by in-person experiences. Now, with local shutdowns and the cancellation of in-person gatherings, many consumers have halted regular retail purchases as a whole. There is a growing focus on saving money, stretching their dollars and only purchasing items deemed valuable and essential. For many retailers, this newfound consumer frugalness posed a challenge and many businesses struggled to stay open.
For some, fitness and outdoor gear became essential purchases in order to keep active and healthy during the pandemic. Other groups opted to find new hobbies and interests to keep busy while at-home, prompting essential purchases of instruments, for example. And, of course, navigating a year-long pandemic through meant new, seasonal clothes were also essential.
The change of spending behavior along with health and safety concerns prompted the rise of ecommerce platforms and omnichannel services like delivery, curbside pickup and in-store pickup. These days, consumers are feeling extremely vulnerable in public areas and around people outside their homes. The digital shopping experience is now consumers' primary way of purchasing essential items.
According to Fitch retail analysts, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures, ecommerce sales increased 30% in the first half of 2020 and reached 20% penetration of overall retail sales.
What Role Do Winmark Franchises Play?
Winmark has perfected the "ultra-high-value" retailing niche, which combines selling high-quality used goods alongside brand-new merchandise in a traditional retail format. There is consistent consumer demand for affordable, quality used apparel, sports equipment, music gear and more.
Today’s consumers are eager to purchase items that will bring the most value for the lowest cost. Resale stores like Once Upon A Child®, Plato’s Closet®, Style Encore®, Play It Again Sports® and Music Go Round® align perfectly with their spending habits. Our unique buy-and-sell business model allows people to find quality used items at highly discounted prices and sell their own clothing, sporting goods, music equipment and more for cash on the spot. This model benefits the consumer in two major ways, providing a way for them to purchase essential items within their budget and creating an opportunity to make some extra money from their own items.
Our top retail franchises also help create a highly localized inventory built on environmentally sustainable practices, which eliminates supply-chain demand and global disruptions that traditional retail stores often experience. While other retailers struggled to fulfill shipping and inventory needs, Winmark brands remain ahead of the curve.
With concerns over shopping in-store and the increased demand for contactless formats, we also offer ecommerce and omnichannel experiences – blending online with in-store shopping for Style Encore, Play It Again Sports and Music Go Round, creating a connection and convenient purchase journey for consumers.
Because of this, resale retail brands continue to take the lead in the retail space. Our brands are proven to be resilient and overcome the economic effects of the pandemic.
To learn more about franchising with any of the Winmark resale retail franchises, download one of our free franchise reports today!