Thrift Stores Thrive in Tough Times

Goodwill expanding stores

By Consumer Bob
|  Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013  |  Updated 12:09 PM PDT
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In just five years, Goodwill Industries of San Diego has doubled the number of its retail stores. Consumer Bob reports.

In just five years, Goodwill Industries of San Diego has doubled the number of its retail stores. Consumer Bob reports.

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When Georgia Galon is looking for bargains, she heads straight to the thrift store.

"Don't go to Nordstom's and Neiman's and Saks, I used to but not anymore," said Galon.

Instead the retired county worker spends her time roaming through the racks of clothes, purses and jewelry at Disabled American Veterans in Spring Valley.

RJ Crouse buys clothes for her young children at thirft stores too.

"You find great stuff for the family, especially if you are on a budget," said Crouse.

Teri Sutton with D.A.V. says they are seeing about 200 new customers every week.  Sutton says the new customers are looking for deals.

"I think people can't afford to go to the Macys and the JC Penny and they can find bargains here," said Sutton.

Goodwill Industries of San Diego County has doubled the number of thrift stores in the past five years.  In 2008 there were 12 retail stores in the county, at the end of 2013 they will have 24 locations.

"There is a lot of opportunity in San Diego County and we are just scratching the surface," said Mike Rowan the CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Diego County.

Rowan says thrift store shoppers are predominately women between the ages of 27 and 54 and they have children.

But younger shoppers also make up a growing category.

Right now there is a popular rap song named "Thrift Store" by the artist Macklemore. Part of that video was made in a well-known Seattle-based Goodwill store.

The biggest challenge facing thrift stores is getting enough donations.

Mike Rowan says donations are not growing as rapidly as sales but enough to keep stores well supplied.

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