Some area consignment store owners and employees have been noticing an uptick of younger customers, believing the pandemic has prompted the change in customer demographic.
“What’s going on in the world today, I think that a lot of people, regardless of what age you are, like to support smaller businesses,” said Kelly Rumovicz, manager of Uptown Consignment in Southington.
Rumovicz said the store’s trending department, which sells clothes from current labels, is “thriving.”
“I think a lot of people just in general have a little bit more time,” Rumovicz said.
“A lot of people are working from their homes now. They have more time to go through their closets, recycle as far as bringing in the consignments and purchasing back in our store. They are just recycling instead of spending more money.”
Jackie Leathe, managing director of Connecticut Consignment Originals, which has a store in Cheshire, said buying clothes second hand is now considered “trendy.”
“It’s cool, they know they are doing something great for the planet and they are doing something great for their wallet,” Leathe said. “I do feel like a lot of younger shoppers, they are very price savvy.”
Because Consignment Originals started 40 years, Leathe believes original customers have encouraged younger generations to shop in consignment stores.
“They’ve turned on their kids, their grandkids and so on and so forth,” Leathe said.
Cindy Ruszczyk, owner of Cindy’s Unique Shop in Wallingford, said she noticed an increase in younger shoppers since a little before the pandemic.
“I think Covid helped it because the general public was afraid to go to the larger stores so they stayed more hometown, little shops,” Ruszczyk said. “It’s definitely increased with Covid but for me it started before.”
Ruszczyk feels more and more young people are starting to want and need items not sold in bigger stores.
“I think there’s that need and that want... whether it be that piece of furniture that is made out of wood that is going to last them that they are going to paint and make it their own,” Ruszczyk said. “Even buying that piece that grandma might’ve had in her house … Just the different things that the big box stores are not going to have.”