I was putting up flyers for the Frugal Fe$tival last weekend when I noticed two thrift stores on Sherman Way just west of Owensmouth in Canoga Park had gone out of business. To my shock Out of the Closest was a discount a furniture store and Aaardvarks Odd Ark was dark.
If anything, in a recession thrift stores should be thriving! Are people not even buying used clothes? My goodness.
I looked online to see how thrift stores across the country are faring. Perhaps the two I saw closed were a fluke. I found these headlines:
Billerica consignment stores hit hard by recession (MA, 7/20/09)
Salvation Army store to close (Mt. Vernon, VA) (7/17/09)
Economy closing Noble Road thrift store (Cleveland, OH 7/9/09)
Helping Hands thrift store closes its doors (Wetaskiwin, Canada 7/7/09)
St. Vincent de Paul closing its doors – seeking small headquarters (Sault Ste Marie, MI 6/26/09)
Thrift shops expect increase due to closing of Salvation Army (Norwich, CT 6/25/09)
And that is just going back one month!
I wonder what the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops has to say about this. An April press release begins, “The resale industry is one of the few recession proof segments of retailing…”
Not anymore. The recession has gone on long enough that the wave of consumers who turned to thrift stores to cut their budget a year ago has washed out.