The Rise of the Thrifty Shopper

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

As we hear stories of recession woe's, with many high street retail venues closing their doors as a result of decreased sales, charity shops may be the only retail outlet benefiting in troublesome economic times.

News from The United Kingdom, The Sue Ryder organisation, have opened a third charity superstore in the historic Norfolk town of Kings Lynn.

"The Sue Ryder organisation, which provides palliative care in communities, has opened a 2,965sq ft store in King’s Lynn which took more than £2,100 on its first day of trading.

In the past year, the charity has opened a 4,000sq ft shop at a retail park in Fakenham, Norfolk, and another 2,723sq ft shop in a former golf store in Meanwood, Leeds.

Oxfam’s 700 shops and online store announced annual takings of £85.9million in 2011, an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year. Wendy Mitchell of the Charity Retail Association, said: ‘People feeling the pinch in their pockets are turning to charity shops to buy high-quality, low-cost items.' " 

Cashing in: The out-of-town store in King's Lynn took £2,100 on its first day of trading

Image c/o DailyMail

Read more: here

Readers I wonder, is second-hand shopping growing in popularity in other parts of the world too? Are you seeing an increase of shoppers in your local charity shops, opportunity shops or thrift stores? Do you ever see an empty second-hand shop?  I can't say I've seen an empty second-hand shopping outlet in the past few years, yet I have seen vacant high street retail shops.  Are we seeing a trend, and a rise in the thrifty shopper? 



AdinB said...

I am feeling a rise in thrift fashion and never once had I seen a thrift store or secondhand store close or closing. Like you said, I think it is one thriving business right now with the economy not doing so well. I don't even remember the last time I went shopping at the mall. Oh my goodness! I feel different now when I go to the malls and look at the stores and the clothes and the first thing in my mind is like, I can find those things at thrift stores. Like one time we got out of the mall without purchasing one thing, unlike before I would be so itching to go and buy me something. For me, thrifting definitely is awesome!

Back in the Philippines my friends and I would go to the market for thrift shopping and we call it there Ukay-okay and it is not even an indoor store, but just pitched tents outside and you literally have to dig through piles and piles of clothes to find that thrifted treasure. It's exciting though! My mom told me that since the economy tanked, a lot of people have been selling secondhand items now and clothes are dirt cheap. I am thinking the next time we go back to the Philippines that I will be shopping tons of clothes to take back home to the USA. LOL! :)

Stacey said...

I think we are definitely seeing a rise in people frequenting op-shops. I don't know if that's because of the economy, or because "thrifting" is really the cool thing to do right now? It seems that lots of major magazines are still running features on thrifting, DIY & shopping your closet, so I'm wondering if it's taken some of the "ew, someone elses clothes" stigma out of thrifting.

ReStitch Me said...

In northern Michigan,USA, there are more resale shops than a few years ago. I'm finding the prices, on an average, are really high--especially if the item is considered 'popular' at the moment. At Goodwill, a new item from Target(with tags still attached) is often priced 3X as much as the last clearanced price! A lot of the clothing is from Walmart or Target too. It is sometimes cheaper to shop clearance at the Big Box stores. This is frustrating to me, as I would rather shop at a resale shop.
I seem to find better prices and more unique things at yard sales.
And yes, the parking lots are always full at the resale shops.

Corina said...

I am definitely seeing a shift in the customer type are thrift shops here. It used to be that I was the only person under 60 when I went shopping. Now I see highschool girls there too. :) I think it's great. I am still trying to convince my family that good stuff can be found there. Everything I wear is either made by me or thrifted now and I always get compliments from them. When I tell them that the entire outfit with accessories was under $20 they are still shocked. Every time!

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Since starting to read blogs from thrifters in the USA and Australia I've always felt that your thrift/op shops seem WAY bigger than the majority of our charity shops here - so I'm pleased if we're getting these mega versions too (though none near me so far, my local ones are still pokey junk shops on the whole). I've never yet been in a completely empty one locally though.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Come to think of it, no, I can't recall seeing an empty op shop for years, except when they're closed! Whenever I need a household appliance, kitchen and homeware, my first port of call are the op shops. Period. If I have to buy retail, it has to be on sale if it's for my personal wear/use or places like discount chemists. I buy the children's clothes new, but I prefer online sales and don't really look for op shop gear for them, especially for boys, as it's usually worn out. Great post Erica Louise! BTW, you mentioned possibly coming to Brisbane? Head for the Wynnum op shops hon:))xo

Unknown said...

Interesting readers, from all corners of the globe, you're all sharing similar stories, no empty second hand shops, and a shift in buying second hand over new. I like it!

Unknown said...

Here in Italy thrift stores are still not very popular. you can find high ends 'second hands stores', but very pricey. I guess italians are too snobs for thrift shopping? oh, well, wait... with this economy i'm pretty sure things are about to change!!!

tigergirl said...

I don't often go to charity shops but I have noticed that when I do there are usually a few people in there - this wasn't the case years ago. Like ReStitchMe said, certain charity shops have their pricing at several times what you could buy the item for in a store (and I'm talking about the chain stores where there is one on every corner) - I've actually seen dresses marked at $10 - $15, the same dresses I bought at the store for $5 - $10. Some times I wonder if the people working there have ever looked in the stores and realise that these clothes are cheaper new than the price they're putting on them.

Post a Comment

Your comments are appreciated, thank you!