If you’ve never been to a resale shop, then you really should consider the personal and economic benefits of this emerging industry.

Ours may be considered a throwaway society, especially when it comes to clothes: You buy the newest fashion today and then tomorrow, you get rid of it simply because it has gone out of style. However, clothes are one of the few most valuable reusable items you can own and with this struggling economy, more and more people are realizing it.

Thrift stores have come a long way since the traditional drop-off centers from a few years ago. Not only have resale stores evolved into popular shopping destinations, but consumers have discovered their value and quality. Many resale stores have a boutique feel or specialize in certain items, which attracts consumers.

This attraction doesn’t go without risk.

One thing about resale stores is that you never know what you may find and you probably won’t find more than one of the same thing. Some people may find this appealing and others may find it appalling. This can also be frustrating, especially if you think you found the perfect jeans or the perfect shoes, then they dont fit. Either way, it is what it is and if you wish to find quality at a value, then take the chance and start thrifting.

The resale industry has experienced a growth in the number of stores – 7 percent per year for the past two years. It has become one of the fastest-growing segments of retail and research estimates that the resale segment has an annual revenue of approximately $13 billion in the United States.

There are more than 25,000 resale, consignment and not-for-profit resale shops in the U.S., according to NARTS, or The Association of Resale Professionals. For example, in the U.S., Goodwill, a not-for-profit, has more than 2,500 stores, with five in Horry County, and Plato’s Closet, a resale franchise, has more than 300 stores, with one in Myrtle Beach.

According to America’s Research Group, about 16 percent to 18 percent of Americans will shop at a thrift store during any given year. To give you another perspective, 11 percent shop in outlet malls, 20 percent in apparel stores and 21 percent in major department stores. Resale stores seem to pop up in clusters, reminding me of the concept of grouping together outlet stores or antique stores. This destination shopping trend for resale stores will continue to attract consumers from all economic levels.

Hopefully, you will consider checking out a thrift store and finding the potential in the concept of reuse and recycle. Our local area has several thrift stores you should check out. If you know of one for me to check out, let me know.

Here are a few to get you started:

Recycled Rooster

• 201 Graduate Road, Unit 108, Conway (across from Coastal Carolina University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College in the University Commons); 347-0518; recycledrooster@aol.com.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

This thrift shop has a fabulous, in-season and in-style selection for both the ladies and for the guys. Every time I have been to this store, I have bought something unique and amazing. You can also bring your unwanted clothes, jewelry and accessories to them and receive cash.

Treasures of the Heart

• 1227 16th Ave., Conway; 488-0906.

Purchases made at this thrift store support Mercy Care and the selection has a little bit of something for everyone. From household goods and furniture to clothing and books, you are likely to find a treasure here. Donations of all kinds accepted.

Twice As Nice Consignment

• 6417 Dick Pond Road, Myrtle Beach; 236-2362; info@twiceasnicemyrtlebeach.com.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

This consignment store has been a local favorite and has expanded its store size. Not only does it carry a great selection of clothes, but also a nice assortment of home goods and furniture. Check it out if you wish to start consigning.

Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2012/04/25/2790726_living-green-thrift-store-numbers.html#storylink=cpy

the author

Originally from Virginia, Jennifer C. Sellers is passionate about sustainability and conservation in South Carolina and throughout the world. She earned her BA in English from Coastal Carolina University and her MAS in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She is a university sustainability coordinator that implements programs and teaches people about going green and being sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @MyGreenGlasses

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  1. Beth Clark on April 26, 2012

    When I was recently in the uk, the thrift store, or vintage stores were quickly becoming the hottest new trend. Not only did we find some fantastic purchases but they were fun and different. I wish there were as many near me.