President of the high-end resale clothing franchise explains why Uptown Cheapskate is winning in an era of changing consumer behavior
The pandemic changed everything overnight – but what it really changed was consumer behavior. Even now, as the economy reopens, millions of Americans continue to tighten their spending habits and are actively trying to save money. This is why the resale clothing industry is exploding. Already growing faster than retail, the resale clothing industry is expected to reach $64 billion in five years, according to ThreadUp. Uptown Cheapskate, the high-end resale clothing opportunity, is in the right place at the right time. Our franchise owners have not only survived the pandemic but are recovering quickly, experiencing strong sales over the last several months.
To discuss why Uptown Cheapskate is booming alongside the resale clothing industry, we recently spoke to Chelsea Sloan Carrol, co-founder and president of Uptown Cheapskate and a multi-unit owner with the brand, on the Uptown Cheapskate podcast.
How did you help franchise owners recover from the pandemic?
Chelsea: I own a couple of stores, so I experienced it from both angles. We were all very anxious to get back open. Our franchisees were very determined and resilient, and they found ways to stay open, whether it was online or private shopping appointments. We applied guidance from the CDC to ensure we could open safely and stop the spread of COVID-19. Our marketing department kicked into high gear and helped our franchise owners update their signage, digital presence, and community engagement. We gave them the tools they needed to jump up and rebound.
All of our franchise owners reopened, and they did it safely. Our sales have come back. We’ve had a strong several months, which has continued into January.
Uptown Cheapskate is a unique resale clothing opportunity because communities rely on the brand not only for a cheaper clothing option but also to earn money back for their clothes. Why is this more important now than ever?
Chelsea: Our stores are lifelines to their communities because we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars back out to the communities we’re in. The pandemic has forced a lot of people into situations where they are having trouble paying their bills, they know that they can clean out their closet and get some money for their clothes by coming to us. This is an invaluable service, and it’s one of the best things we do.
Why is the resale clothing industry growing so fast, and why is Uptown Cheapskate well-positioned to capitalize on the momentum?
Chelsea: We knew before the pandemic hit, the resale market was on track to double – and now, industry experts say that the industry is growing much faster. We’re seeing that online, but we’re also seeing that in our brick and mortar stores. Americans are changing their spending habits as a result of the pandemic. People are saving a little bit more, they’re becoming more frugal. We’re the least expensive option for clothing out there. We’re also the only option where people can shop in a high-end retail store, and save up to 90% of retail prices. We’re capturing a huge portion of market share now as a result.
One of the biggest reasons people shop for resale clothing is the environmental impact. How important is this to your customers?
Chelsea: Here’s just one statistic that’s pretty incredible. If everyone just bought one item used instead of new, it would save 25 billion gallons of water. Fast-fashion is one of the biggest polluters in the world, coming in at No. 2 overall. Millennials and Gen-Z don’t want to be a part of something that burns the world down, they want to be a part of something that changes the world. Our customers get a buzz because they know they’re doing something positive for the environment. You get a good deal on clothes, but you also get a good deal on bettering the environment.
Why is now a good time to own a brick and mortar Uptown Cheapskate franchise?
Chelsea: There’s a lot of great real-estate right now, and landlords and developers are cutting a lot of deals. I’m currently looking into leasing space for a new location, and we’re receiving a lot of inquiries from entrepreneurs who want to seize the opportunities that exist right now. The wonderful thing about Uptown Cheapskate and resale is that the brick and mortar model really works. Shoppers, and women especially, want the tactile experience, they want to try things on, and make sure that they fit. We’re really well-positioned to continue to grow in 2021 and beyond.
Check out the full conversation with Chelsea here:
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For in-depth details about the Uptown Cheapskate resale clothing opportunity, download our Free Franchise Opportunity Report. You also can learn more by visiting our research pages.