June 21, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Inflation pushes consumers towards used goods even in stores

Inflation pushes consumers towards used goods even in stores

Thrift stores and liquidation shops are frequented by crowds of Quebecers looking for discounts. A sign that inflation is catching up with everyone, more than half of consumers now buy used goods in stores.

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That's according to a survey of 1,000 Quebecers conducted by the Quebec Retail Council (CQCD) in April.

In the past 12 months, 56% of Quebecers bought second-hand products from a store. 19% who do it “often” and 45% who do it “sometimes”.

Thrift stores like Renaissance and others are among the retailers that benefit the most. One in three Quebecers bought something from this type of store this year, compared to 23% last year.

“It's extraordinary, the growth is enormous,” enthuses Eric Saint-Arnaud, owner of Renaissance Channel.

It makes him even more happy to know that “people who have never bought since the Renaissance do so now.”

It's impossible for all these new customers to be people in financial trouble, he says. Everyone finds thrift stores, which is one of the company's goals.

“We are in the business of convincing the unbelievers. Every year, the percentage of people who never buy used drops,” says this manager with a social mission tattooed on his heart.

According to a CQCD survey, 44% of Quebecers have not bought anything second-hand in stores in the past 12 months.

Two winners

Liquidation stores are the other big winners from a change in consumer habits. These businesses are also popular with Quebecers, reported News magazineIn April.

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According to a CQCD survey, the proportion of users who frequent them increased from 14% to 25% in a year.

In 82% of cases, people go for second-hand goods for the simple reason of paying less. In Quebec, the median after-tax income was $36,400, according to 2021 data from Statistics Canada.

Almost half also said they used it to protect the planet (43% — “Protect the environment”).

This is the habit that the revival wants to develop.

“There's education to be done,” says Eric Saint-Arnaud. All Quebecers should try the Renaissance store experience at least once, according to him, “to see what they're going to find.”

Even by buying a simple pair of used pants, “it already makes a difference,” he explains.

Confident Quebecer

The CQCD regularly surveys Quebecers to establish an index of consumer confidence.

Retail Lobby said this “barometer” gained five points in three months, from 78.7 in January to 84.2 in April.

However, many in Quebec are still waiting for the sky to fall on their heads. Seven in 10 Quebecers are worried about the future and 43% believe the economy will worsen.

Survey at a glance

62% Consumer prices are expected to continue to rise

45% Quebecers know what planned obsolescence is

61% In the past year, consumers have bought on the Internet

74%Interested in unsold items at 25% discount

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