Thrifty retailer on a mission

  • Article by: NEAL ST. ANTHONY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 24, 2012 - 4:50 PM

Goodwill's ambitious strategy hit the market just as the recession took hold. And it has proved over the last decade that secondhand retailing, if presented in bright, clean, well-organized stores with bargain prices, can be a bona fide growth strategy,

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clmwitteJun. 24, 12 6:09 PM

Goodwill has improved vastly in the last few years, but they have one BIG problem, and so I rarely shop there. Their stores look clean and nice, but they sort and display their clothinf by color, not by size! In order to find anything, you have to look through everything, a very frustrating experience. I imagine this saves them money on staff time, but I can't imagine it helps their sales. Give me Value Village, or Unique any day where things are displayed by size, or Savers, where they displayed by color and size!

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iplawguyJun. 24, 12 8:11 PM

Their selection of used books is good, but with hardcover novels priced upwards of $5, their prices need to be adjusted. Especially since I can sit in the comfort of my home and find just about any used title on Amazon for a few pennies plus $3.99 shipping (and I don't have to spend an hour or more poring over an unorganized mess in the store).

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jurburJun. 25, 12 5:04 AM

Goodwill is expensive for a secondhand store that sells used things and junk. Their prices have gone up on everything they sell. Their new buildings are nice but someone has to pay for those looks and that is the people who shop there who do not have a lot of money to begin with. In way it bothers me that they are so inflated with their prices for people who are down and out so they can raise money for their mission which is helping people who are down and out. It's twisted. I go to other thrift stores before I go to them.

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hittodeadJun. 25, 12 8:07 PM

I shop all of the Twin Cities thrift stores, both for my eBay business selling collectibles and also for general household needs, and overall, Goodwill has the fairest and most uniform prices. Savers is at the top of the price scale in virtually every category. The folks at ARC look up everything that might be considered, "vintage" or "collectible" on eBay and they hang ridiculous prices on them. The Unique chain uses no sense at all in their pricing, plus everything has the price scrawled in grease pencil across it. They've destroyed many a book I could have sold to a collector. Salvation Army? Cheap prices, but most of the used goods they sell look like they were spared from the landfill. Goodwill is the clear winner, and what's more, and what the ace business reporter failed to mention, you have ONE WEEK to return anything you buy there. Show me another thrift store that takes returns...

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eriepaJul. 4, 1212:22 PM

Hey, that's my mom!

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