COVID Fuels the Secondhand Fashion Revolution National Resale Clothing Franchise Launches Online Store
To Answer Booming Demand Or “Die”
February 01, 2021 // Franchising.com // COVID fueled the resale fashion industry as we cleaned out closets, sheltered in place, shopped online, searched for value, and tried to save the planet.
When the pandemic started, Clothes Mentor was experiencing record growth - until its 130 stores across the country were forced to shut down. Business was dead. Franchisees were panicked.
Virtual Shopping Solution
Company leaders needed a solution and fast. How do they capitalize on the secondhand fashion boom exploding during the pandemic when women couldn’t visit their stores to buy gently worn clothes or sell them for store credit or cash-on-the-spot?
The answer? Launch a first-of-its kind website in record speed that stands out from competitors fighting for market share in this resale revolution. At Clothes Mentor Online, women can shop for more than 200,000 items of gently worn clothing, shoes and accessories from 82 stores nationwide with eight more in development and the profit goes back to the local store owner. Customers can now shop local from anywhere in the country.
“When our stores shut down, we had to scramble and launch our online website to keep our franchisees profitable and answer this growing demand for secondhand fashion that exploded during the pandemic. It was do or die,” says Chad Olson, COO of Clothes Mentor. “Our new website is a win-win for women looking for high quality, gently worn clothes at a great price, who want to shop “local” and know their money is going to shop owners whether they’re in Minneapolis or Florida. Resale is here to stay and now it’s more accessible than ever with our online site that updates fashion daily.”
Clothes Mentor’s eCommerce site has helped franchise owners survive the pandemic while opening up their business to new customers.
“This online site has kept us alive with an entirely new revenue stream because we’re selling to customers from all over the country, so we’re not limited by geography,” says Kathy Canada, Clothes Mentor owner in Fishers, Indiana. “We lost business when we were closed for several months and revenue dipped, but with the online site we’re making up for the losses and we’re able to keep our employees, who play an important role in taking photos of the clothes and uploading them to the site daily.”
How The Clothes Mentor Website Works:
- People bring in their like-new clothes, shoes and accessories for cash or store credit on the spot. The store owners photograph the item and post it on a national website where buyers from around the country can purchase it.
How is Clothes Mentor Unique?
- The money from items purchased on the Clothes Mentor website goes directly to the local store owner who bought the gently used clothes from someone in their community and posted it online.
- Competing second-hand online marketplaces don’t have brick-and-mortar stores nationwide where people can shop for or sell their gently worn clothes for credit or immediate cash. When people sell clothes to competitors, they wait for the item to sell to get paid.
- On other resale sites, people sell their clothes individually and ship to buyers themselves OR they send their clothes to a main site with no personal interaction. The sites send an email listing the item’s worth - take it or leave it. If it doesn’t sell, people often have to pay to get their clothing back. With Clothes Mentor, customers get a face-to-face transaction to understand how much their clothes are worth and why. If they don’t like the price, or Clothes Mentor doesn’t want to buy it, they will donate it to a charity or the customer can take it back home.
Why is Resale So Hot?
- New research reveals the resale fashion market is growing 25 times faster than the overall retail market with the secondhand apparel industry valued at about $28 billion today and expected to reach $64 billion within five years.
- The same study finds 70% of women have shopped or are open to shopping secondhand.
- Plus, 2 in 3 who never sold their clothes are open to it. The number one reason? Make money!
Sustainability Goes From Perk To Priority
- 70 percent of consumers agree addressing climate change is more important than ever.
- 2.5X more consumers compared plan to shift spending to a sustainable brand.
- 1 in 2 people throw unwanted clothes straight in the trash. A new environmental study reveals 645 million of the 32 billion garments produced each year end up in the landfill. (Greenstory Inc.)
SOURCE Clothes Mentor
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