It's Now Hip to be Thrift

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter

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By Heather Hubbs

IOWA CITY, Iowa-- Retailers, like Sears and JC Penney have struggled with declining sales. At the same time, thrift store sales are growing. Second hand shopping has become so popular, there's even a song on the radio about it.

In the last five years Goodwill's revenue has shot through the roof. Nationwide they went from $1.9 billion in 2007 to raking in $3.5 billion last year. Here locally during that same time frame sales are up 60 percent.

Goodwill of the Heartland is also opening new stores each year to meet the demand. Clothes, shoes, and household goods are their top sellers. Goodwill reps say the recession certainly played a role in their sales increase, with people trying to stretch their bottom dollar.
But a lot of it also has to do with a new generation of shoppers discovering their bargain racks.

"I think it's just the younger generation, I think they have a real interest in the environment and recycling and repurposing goods. They've kind of made thrift store shopping the hip and fun thing to do ," said Mindy Kayser, Goodwill of the Heartland.

So hip in fact, Goodwill often has a tough time keeping their racks filled. They are always in need of donations which can be dropped off at any Goodwill location. Goodwill proceeds go to help those in need in the community.

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