Wealth Blog

Finance Blogs » Wealth » Bargain-shopping among the rich

Bargain-shopping among the rich

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Posted: 6 am ET

One of the fastest-growing segments of the retail industry is on track to have a prosperous holiday season, especially since stores have begun leasing space in more upscale neighborhoods. Consignment and thrift stores that sell used merchandise have proven alluring to those looking to cut back on price but not quality.

According to U.S. Census figures, sales at thrift stores totaled $11.47 billion in the first nine months of 2011, a 26.7 percent increase from the same time period last year.

The recession provided a further boost to the industry because businesses that failed opened up retail space in more upscale locations and landlords often were forced to drop rental prices. Rich shoppers with more money to spend were drawn in to thrift  stores, while at the same time the more prosperous neighborhoods meant stores gained more expensive merchandise to resell.

Some surveys have shown that the rich are leading the spending upswing this holiday season, and they've said that, while they seek value, they won't compromise on quality. What the consignment industry calls "gently-used" merchandise seems to be satisfying both desires. It will be interesting to see if the trend holds once the economy improves.

Do you shop at consignment and thrift stores, and have you found bargains on quality merchandise?

Keep up with your wealth and mortgages and follow me on Twitter.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

«
»
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.