During a recession, the thrift industry seems to thrive. Although shoppers tend to cut back on spending for non-essential purchases, sales for thrift shops like ours tend to boom. This is a great opportunity for our stores.
The Offer Up Recommerce Report 2022 suggests that the secondhand shopping economy will grow 80% in the next 5 years. Will our stores be ready for this potential growth?
Since consumers tend to hang on to their possessions much longer during a recession, this could pose a dilemma for some thrift stores. If fewer donations are received, yet the demand for our merchandise is growing, how might we plan for this? We need to be creative and use some forward thinking to get ahead of this.
As we know, our donation locations must be convenient for our donors. We might explore targeting specific donation drives where we bring donation receptacles to our donors, i.e. organize community events such as “Fill the Truck” at churches, targeted neighborhoods, or civic organizations.
We can increase social media efforts to target specific age groups, donation sites or specific merchandise needs. Promote special donation locations in church bulletins, on social media, Homeowner Association newsletters, and the like.
We might consider offering a store coupon to donors as an incentive for them to come in and shop at our store. If they don’t use the coupon, perhaps the donor might share the coupon with another prospective customer.
If you don’t already do so, maybe explore purchasing new product and selling the purchased merchandise at a markup. This might bridge the gap, as needed, to fill the stores when donations are low and provide cost-effective merchandise for our customers.
The SVdP National Stores website has a listing of National Partners that could be a resource in this area. For a list of National Partners, visit: https://www.svdpusa-thriftstore.org and select SVdP National Partners under the Resources tab. These vendors have shoes, clothing, bedding, and much more.
As always, if you have questions or would like to reach out to a National Store Committee Member, their names and region can be found here.
If you have a topic that you would like addressed in a future Stores Corner article, please e-mail our Jeff Beamguard, Director of Stores Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.