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Companies in this industry sell used merchandise such as clothing, antiques, furniture, books, and jewelry. Major US companies include Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Savers, and Winmark.
The used merchandise stores industry in the US includes about 20,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $17 billion.
The industry includes resale shops, consignment shops, thrift shops, and antique stores. Excluded are stores that sell used cars, boats, trailers, and mobile homes. Pawn shops, which sell a variety of used merchandise but generate most of their revenue from interest and fees on loans, are discussed in this profile but not included in store count, revenue, or employment statistics.
Demographics, consumer income, and consumer tastes drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient procurement and effective merchandising. Large companies have advantages in marketing and finance. Small companies can compete effectively by offering specialty products, serving a local market, or providing superior customer service. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest US companies account for about 30% of sales.
Used merchandise stores compete with retailers offering new merchandise, as well as with individuals selling used merchandise privately or through websites, such as eBay or Craigslist, or product swapping through services like Freecycle. Used furniture and antique stores compete with auction houses.
Thanks to a recent influx of new competitors and investor money, the resale market is undergoing consolidation. More than $400 million was ...
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