As of now, America is struggling to pull out of a recession. With gas prices going up, food costs are also increasing. Hours are being cut back as Obama Care gets ready to take steam. To compensate with the loss of money, Americans are cutting back on extra spending, from vacations, to toys, to electronics, to even clothes.
While many companies are closing hundreds of stores (Best Buy, Kmart), more and more thrift stores are popping up and actual becoming chains. America’s Super Thrift Store is just one of them. With my own budget tightened, I still have to get more clothes as others get worn. I also like to read, and since I don’t own an e-reader, I rely on physical books. The library in my town is very small and has limited choices. I also love collecting and selling vintage and antiques (it’s in my blood).
Just last week on Presidents’ Day, I checked out Thrift Mart of Huntsville, AL. Their store was offering 50% off. When I got there, I was shocked to see the line about sixty people deep – at least. A little too long for me! I went to America’s Super Thrift Store in Decatur, AL for another 50% off and got a suede Worthington jacket, clothing for my husband, a book, and a Fossil purse for just $7.35!
Now, all across the country, more and more thrift stores are popping up and are becoming some of the most appealing retail stores today. Chain thrift stores, such as America’s Super Thrift Store, Goodwill, Downtown Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, and others are becoming some of the best shopping destinations. What also makes them appealing, is that people can donate to them for tax deductions, and those that purchase from them are helping an even greater cause, such as the sales going to support families in need.
While many thrift stores are there to help people, there are some that are for vintage and antique searchers such as myself. Reruns Thrift store in Athens, AL carries unique vintage items that I can get dirt cheap for myself or to send to my family. I found my mother a near mint condition game based on the popular 1970s show, Mork and Mindy. It’s a little bit more about the personal touch added for a birthday or Christmas gift! A seasonal thrift store that I also like in Athens is Kids Mart. This store carries everything from kid stuff, to decorations, to antiques. I have found Calvin Klein clothes there for $3. The unique twist about the store is that people bring stuff there to sell.
It used to be that thrift stores were hard to find. According to NARTS, the Association of Resale Professionals, there are more than 25,000 resale stores today. That includes those for profit, non-profit, and consignment combined. I myself have visited at least 15 of them in Alabama and at least five in Florida alone.
So, what does this tell us?
Thrift stores may have been once considered uncool and a place that many wouldn’t be caught dead in. But now, even teenagers are starting to consider them great. Name brand clothing can be found, books for everyone, toys for the little one, video games, and even new furniture sets. More and more thrift stores will continue to pop up all over America and slowly but surely dominate the retail shopping world.