Posted by: guinness222 | October 7, 2008

Thrift stores: “We’re seeing more middle-class shoppers.”

Thrift stores:
Managers: Spike in sales comes from economic turmoil, popularity of recycling
Salvation Army, Goodwill report ’08 sales increases of 6 percent to 15 percent

Thrift store chain CEO: 30 percent of customers make more than $100,000

Salvation Army fears inventory shortage and plans first-ever ad campaign

      Ok folks, you are going to hear of the next major “bailout” right here on my blog. Remember it was predicted by me on this date, AND fully explained to you, so give ME the credit when it surfaces in the national media and then the world media. Ready?

      The “Salvation Army” bailout. Yup, that’s next. It has been cleverly hidden over the years by those pots outside Walmart at Christmas time, and the little three piece Oom-pah bands and thier tamborines, but the bitter truth is surfacing in dribs and drabs.

      The Thrift Stores are going to need a bailout provision as well. Read on and see the article on CNN today about it and you will know why  we can’t pay $65 for a Tee shirt, $49 for a pair of slacks, $22 for socks, we have to dump the retailers and hit the “Thrift Stores”, but we’ll put them in jepoardy and they will need more stock, more help, higher overhead, more stores,….BAM Bail out time!

     For me I first learned about it over eight yearws ago, during the Clinton Administration, NOT the Bush Administration, and it happened so subtlely I almost missed it. Here’s what happened. We had just bought our townhome here, and money was non-exisitent, what with every thing you have to pay for at closings and insurance and all the other “happy homeowner” crap, not to mention the wife determining that the “old” furniture just doesn’t “look right in here”, but I suck it up and tell her, “Honey, we are tapped right now. We’re gonna have to wait a while so let’s just make do with what we got.” (Manspeak translation: “This shit works for me so we ain’t gonna spend any more money until I get over the damn sticker shock of buying this place, and the old couch is comfy, thirty seconds and I’m in “coma-nap-time” mode.) With a little tear in her eye she agrees with a nod, and then goes grocery shopping, can’t live with out groceries.

       A couple hours later she comes back and says, “Honey, can you help me unload some stuff?” I figure groceries and say sure, but when I get out to the garage I see a couple of tables, a few “alien”(non-grocery) bags, and a half dozen grocery bags, …all in the back of her car. “What’s this stuff?” says I in a , well I guess challenging tone.

    “I stopped by the Thrift Store and found two end tables, a couple of lights, some placemats,…oh,…and three of those flowered tropical shirts you like to wear,….Look!” And out of one of the alien bags comes this pretty cool looking shirt, you know the Hawaiian tourist kind. And she’s right I like them. It’s so much easier going to work dressed like a tourist, and it says to the real tourists, “Guess what? I live here, I’m on vacation 24/7/365, and I don’t have to go home like you next week, Ha,Ha!” (Ok we all know I’m a sick puppy, live with it!)

      In fact all the shirts were pretty cool. Now I never really thought about wearing someone else’s clothes, (maybe even a dead guy’s! Cause that’s what widows do with old husband clothes, “Take them down and drop them off at the Thrift Store.”) But the furniture stuff?

      SO, in my most humble voice I said to the wife, “The Thrift Store,…you mean like the old junk store place?” “Yeah”, she says, “they got a lot more stuff than “Junk”, in fact I saw an almost brand new sleep sofa and matching arm chair there and,…” “Honey, I thought we agreed we can’t afford new furniture and stuff right now. Like these tables you got,..” “You like them, the brass will go so well with the,….” “But Honey, what did these cost us?”  “Two dollars each!”, she says triumphantly, with hand on hip (Universal female sign which translates to ‘You got a problem with that asshole?’)

       “You’re kidding Two bucks? They look brand new, what’s wrong with them a leg fall off, what?” says me incredulously.

      “People here got too much money, and they throw stuff out like crazy, even brand new stuff, look at the lamps I got for these end tables, they were only three dollara for the set of two of them!” (I gotta admit she scored big, appealed to me by not denting my beer money,…much.)

      And so it started, now she prowls the three Thrift Stores in our area religiously, in fact very religiously, like once a week religiously, and an occasional mid week “drop -in”. The next week I went with her just to “scope it out”, came home with the almost brand new, can’t tell the difference, queen size sleep sofa, arm chair, and a few other “doo-dads”.

       And the clothes? Well, as a lot of you know this area I live in is wealthy vacation mecca-ville. Folks with three and five million dollar “second homes” at the beach. A lot of guys bought them, hired an “Interior Decorator” to fill them up with “stuff” and announced it to the wife. Wife eventually comes down, renders her verdict “Gawd, that  is the takiest “stuff” I’ve ever seen, give me the check book I re do it right, send all thei stuff to the thrift store and we’ll get a tax write-off (Ahhhhh the power of wealth!). Same thing goes on clothes, (shirts, and the like I can live with, but I’ll get my own slacks and shoes and all at “real” stores thank you!) But the shirts women buy for the husbands and they simply go “I ain’t wearing that! Take it to the Thrift store!”, works for me, I got at least thirty shirts from there over the past five years, all designer, brand new, never been worn, and STILL HAVE THE RALPH LOREN, NIKE, UNDER AMOR LABELS AND PRICE TAGS ON THEM!

       Oh well, I guess a lot more of my neighbors are going to be descending on the place, but after eight years of shopping there my wife got connections and they’ll let her know when a good load of “stuff” is coming in!

       My old buddy Mikie, who died two years ago used to shop there, and I never knew it until one day he’s sporting Oakley Sun Glasses, Oakley, Shirt, Oakley Shorts, and Oakley Sandals! “What’d you do knock off an Oakley Truck, you can’t afford that stuff. ” “Thrift Store man, thrift Store, they got great deals!”

      Live and learn, says I. I’m already scaling down for the next “greenback sleigh-ride” on the Stock market. (BTW got my quarterly statemnet from my stock broker this morning. If you need me I’ll be at the Pub, it’s cocktail time somewhere I’m sure. A 50% drop in one quarter I’d be better off just having a party!

     Have a great Day folks!



  1. My step-daughter, Dr. Amber, has many, many dogs and she goes through couches like a cowboy on a plate of beans. We got to the thrift store and by old couches for $5 and $10 about three times a year. Also, many years ago I worked as a line machinist at a plastics plant and I would buy used t-shirts for a $1.00 each. I’m not proud. Now, I don’t speak Spanish, so I don’t go in as much.

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