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Anchorage thrift store: Second-hand shopping is on the rise during the pandemic

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 6:58 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Thousands of items can be found at thrift stores across Alaska from candles to clothes and everything in between.

Mark Fricker, store manager of the Goodwill off the Old Seward Highway, said he is seeing a trend of increased shopping over the past few months. He shared his thoughts on why he feels so many people are turning to the thrifty shopping option.

“I think our consumers now are more ‘value’ interested, so, we have a lot of gently used items and sometimes even brand new items that come into our store, and we have a good value on those for the customers,” Fricker said.

He added that not only are items flying off the shelves, but the amount of donations the store has been getting has also gone up. Fricker believes when the pandemic first hit and many people stayed home, it spurred an early spring cleaning and people started to go through their own homes to donate and get rid of items.

Fricker said while the weekends are some of the store’s busiest shopping times, the staff see a lot of their shoppers return two to three times a week to find good affordable finds.

“Since we’ve opened back up we’ve grown incrementally in sales. Our weekends are off the charts, and that’s very exciting,” Fricker said. “I love shopping thrift stores and second-hand stores. I absolutely love it because you can find the oldest items that you have never seen in a long time. They will show up and be at a really good price.”

And with the surge in shoppers, Fricker said they are hiring.

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