What’s in store? 2021 flea market predictions

ColoradoBiz Article, January 11, 2021

Welcome to 2021. With the flip of the calendar, we’re into a new year. While the challenges were many in 2020, we learned much about the resiliency of our sellers and shoppers.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought temporary closures, new guidelines and restrictions, and reduced capacities to flea markets across the country. But the sellers and shoppers have always been the underlining strength of the flea market industry and they did not disappoint in 2020.

Sellers are independent business owners and entrepreneurs and in the face of COVID have once again learned how to adapt. While the flea market industry has historically been stable, it weathered this past year due to the tenacity and ingenuity of the people who run their businesses there.

Business owners in many cases adjusted their product offerings in order to provide what buyers were seeking. Some pivoted to selling masks, hand gels and cleaning supplies as demand for those items soared.

Flea markets are generally considered “essential” businesses, and became a necessary place to purchase goods like fresh produce, household items and more.

Flea markets, for the most part, also offer an outdoor shopping environment, ensuring plenty of space to socially distance with plenty of fresh air safely outdoors.

Looking ahead, the flea market industry will continue to evolve and prosper. Here are the top six predictions that we expect to see in 2021.

1. Entrepreneurship will grow.

With the unemployment rate hovering just under 7%, more individuals will consider starting their own business and flea markets provide an ideal platform with a captive audience of shoppers.

In addition to people who are starting a new business, those who are in-between work can make extra money and get rid of things they don’t need by selling their items at the flea market.

2. Consumer confidence will rebound.

Beginning in the spring, businesses will feel the resurgence in consumer spending as the economy benefits from pent up demand. By the end of the second quarter, people will feel more comfortable getting out to shop and enjoy leisure activities.

3. Flea Markets will continue to adapt and evolve.

While we believe consumers will continue to seek shopping environments that are primarily outdoors, we expect that the product mix will continue to change to offer what buyers are seeking.

In the coming year, that could be camping gear for families looking for more outdoor adventures, lawn care items as more people tend to backyard gardens and landscaping, or apparel as students head back to in-person school and adults head back to office environments.

Flea market businesses will continue to adapt and evolve in 2021, with sellers providing what consumers want and need in a safe environment.

4. Flea markets will be a pace setter for entertainment.

Consumers seeking to re-enter public settings are likely to initially seek outdoor entertainment options. As restrictions lift in 2021, flea markets will begin to slowly open their kids rides, offer more food and beverage options and re-introduce live entertainment, well before indoor venues.

You’ll see live music, festivals and other outdoor events begin again at flea markets as soon as this spring.

5. Flea market schedules could adjust.

Typically, flea markets are open on weekends, but with the large number of people working from home, flea marketing hours may change.

Many flea markets may consider adjusting their typical schedules to provide shopping opportunities during the work week as Americans continue to adjust their work schedules.

6. Resale gets bigger.

According to Forbes, resale activity represents a $24 billion industry and threatens both traditional brick-and-mortar retail sales and internet sales. This market is projected to continue to grow and hit $51 billion by 2023.

Flea markets are ground zero for resale finds and offer treasure hunters with endless opportunities to find the bargains that they love.

At United Flea Markets, we’re grateful to be able to operate our businesses and serve our communities. While there’s no question that flea markets have had many challenges in this past year, they are reliably consistent over the long-term. Shopping at your local flea market provides more than discounted prices – a day at a flea market is full of fun and discovery for the entire family.

Read the ColoradoBiz article HERE.