And here's a little preview of the madness inside the store ..
I asked a customer what bought her to Sacred Heart Mission in Bentleigh's opening night, and how she found out about it:
"Oh my daughter and I just looooove op shopping, we drove by and thought 'ooo we've not seen that op shop before'! We are shocked at how busy it is"
I asked Sacred Heart Mission's Communications Manager a few questions related to their new Bentleigh Store Opening:
Q. This is your 7th op shop opening in Melbourne, what made you choose Bentleigh as a location?
We conducted some research and spoke with a few retail experts to determine the most prominent growth spots in and around our current areas operation which are South Melbourne, Windsor, St Kilda, East St Kilda, Hawthorn and Elsternwick. Bentleigh was identified as a good spot.
Q. I've visited your Hawthorn store before, which I believe used to be a Chinese restaurant, retaining much of its original features, do you know the history of the Bentleigh store?
I believe the South Melbourne store was previously a home for Lamborghinis; Hawthorn was a Chinese restaurant before becoming an ice-cream parlour; East St Kilda a bar; and Bentleigh a Video Ezy.
Q. What makes Sacred Heart Mission Opportunity Shops different from others?
They're wholly stocked by donations from the surrounding community; we try to maintain very high standards in terms of stock quality and store presentation; the personality that our team of staff and volunteers bring to their respective stores; and of course, our reasonable prices.
All the Mission op shops have their own flavour and provide an upbeat shopping experience where people can find a reliable source of goods, both for those on limited incomes as well as the treasure hunters.
Finally, it's a feel-good way to shop as all proceeds from the op shop sales go to Sacred Heart Mission’s work with people who are homeless or disadvantaged.
Q. You have paid staff that run Sacred Heart Mission Opportunity Shops, do you also have a network of volunteers that work at your op shops?
We have a couple of paid staff at each store to ensure they can open seven days a week and meet the standards of Sacred Heart Mission, but ultimately we would not be able to operate and achieve our goals without the 200+ volunteers that donate their time and effort and energy across the op shops.
Q. Do you plans to open any more Sacred Heart Mission Opportunity Shops in the future?
We'd like to consolidate our current position and ensure that we're doing the best we can with what we have before expanding further; there's certainly nothing on the cards for the next two years at least.
I should add that our last op shop openings had people lining up around the corner for a bargain, similar to a Myer or David Jones stock-take sale. Following that experience, we're expecting the Bentleigh store to require restocking after the opening to be ready for regular trading the next day! It when then be open 10-5pm, 7 days per week.
Note: I'd imagine the same would go for restocking Bentleigh's store, after Friday night's success
Shell-suits, alive and well
As a parent, much appreciation for the kid corner, with a table painted with blackboard paint, chalks on hand, and a selection of toys. Let the kids play, while Mum shops!
.. displayed on a hanging bicycle wheel
Glass changing room doors, covered with coffee sacks..
Tin tea and coffee canisters..
A pair of shoes, that could tell a story or two..
An Alanna Hill top, which almost came home with me..
Pleated shoulder detail on an 80's dress..
Vintage suitcases, and an unexpected self portrait..
Have you been to an op shop / thrift store / charity shop opening before? Lots of fun!
By the way, Brag Your Best Buys Thrift fashion contest is now live! Please do send through your entries for a chance to win prizes!