Thrift stores thriving as new study shows consumers are tightening their spending

thrift stores thriving in economy
Urban Renewal offers unique items for the home. | Photos by Jen Watkins, St. George News

thrift stores thriving in economyWASHINGTON COUNTY – Forbes released a study today that said four in ten people will spend less this Christmas season than they did in 2010. The reason: higher cost of food and fuel is draining consumer’s wallets.

While retailers may take a hit – many of them hoping to make up the loss revenue from earlier this year during the holiday season – some stores are saying they are doing just fine.

Antique stores, collectible items and second-hand thrift shops don’t seem to be taking the hit.

“We’re doing great,” said Jenny Larsen, owner of Urban Renewal in St. George.

Larsen said her store isn’t necessarily an antique shop or thrift store, but a more of a “lifestyle or destination store” and that’s what sets her shop apart from others.

“When you have a family coming in, the teenager can go look at clothing while mom is looking at things for the house, and the dad maybe goes to the records,” she said. “We have things everyone can enjoy.”

Larsen said the hot ticket items are the “unique items” not found in other stores. She said her customers are shopping for items they can tweak or paint to make their own, or for unique decorative items they can’t find anywhere else.

thrift stores thriving in economyIn Hurricane, the owners of Ugly Trailer Antiques have received great reviews across the country on TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Owners Susan and Fred Thomas said their collectible items are doing well, but they are selling a lot of furniture and self-preparedness and military items.

Fred Thomas said many of the customers he sees are young couple who recently got married and are on a tight budget. Susan Thomas said she works with a lot of people who need to sale items to make ends meet.

“Most people are looking here first before they go spending big bucks,” she said.

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Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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