An NJBIZ article reports that New Jersey resale chains are growing during the recession. The makers of ConsignPro, a software program designed for consignment stores, welcome this news.
Several high-end resale chains in New Jersey have reported an increase in sales since the advent of the economic recession. NJBIZ, a New Jersey business publication, reports that this growth is indeed spurred by the recession.
Winmark Corp. is the parent company of four resale chains located within the state. Steve Murphy, president, agrees that the recession caused an influx of frugal customers. Winmark plans to open over 10 new locations in New Jersey over the next three to five years. Its brands include Plato’s Closet, Once Upon A Child, Music-Go-Round and Play It Again Sports.
Industry experts say that coming years could bring more growth for the resale industry, if retailers play their cards right. Murphy intends to take this opportunity to expand his business.
“For our stores, we’re driven more by what we buy, and that predicates what we sell,” says Murphy. As long as we’re buying good, quality inventory in the right styles, we won’t have a problem selling it. I think the value-oriented consumer is here to stay a little bit more, so times improving won’t have a negative impact on our sales.”
Brian Wilson is the creator of a point-of-sale software system called ConsignPro that is specifically for resale stores. He, too, has observed an increase in business since the economic recession occurred.
“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in new store openings in each year since 2009; resale is here to stay and most towns now have several shops for customers to choose from,” said Wilson.
Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, associate dean of the Rutgers University School of Business-Camden and specialist in retail consumer trends, cautions that though Winmark’s franchises are “likely to grow in this economy,” this growth may not sustain across the next decade if Winmark fails to keep its price points and merchandise up-to-date.
“Businesses like this respond to a trend within a specific demographic,” she says, “so they need to carefully define their mission, so the business doesn’t have a wear-out effect down the line,”
Both Wilson and Murphy remain optimistic about the continued success of the resale market, despite the possibility of an economic upturn. Murphy intends to use it as an opportunity to move into prime real estate. After doing so, he says, his franchises “won’t face any other obstacles as things improve.”
Brian Wilson first developed ConsignPro in 1996. Currently, it is used in more than 3,000 resale shops worldwide.