Thrift Stores Including Goodwill Are Closing Locations, Starting Dec. 23
These closures are coming at a time when more shoppers are turning to discount stores.
High inflation is still a pain point for people across the U.S., and the timing could not be worse for those looking to secure gifts this holiday season without breaking the bank. But whether you're looking for somewhere to get an affordable present or you're just in need some economical household necessities, your options may soon be a little more limited. Thrift stores, including secondhand store giant Goodwill, are shuttering spaces. Read on to find out which locations are on the chopping block.
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Thrift stores have been seeing increased demand recently.
If you've been thinking about hitting up your local thrift store over the holidays, you're not alone. Inflation has been driving shoppers to secondhand shops across the U.S. for much of the past year, and that migration shows no signs of slowing as the holiday season is underway.
Maureen Ater, vice president of marketing and development at Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, recently told ABC-affiliate Cleveland News 5 that year-over-year sales are expected to increase by up to 5 percent thanks to higher demand for thrift shopping, including during the holidays.
"We definitely see a spike when there's recessionary times because people are looking for a good deal," Ater said.
There have been reports in all parts of the country about shoppers looking for the best deals. Fox-affiliate WOLF-TV in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, reported that high inflation is also driving shoppers to thrift stores in the area over the holidays.
"I just think people are really looking for a great deal, and if it's not for themselves, it's for gifts. We get very nice items in here, practically brand-new items. I think they are just trying to cut back on everything, due to the inflation," Cheryl Gregory, manager of Community Family Services, told the news outlet.
Despite high foot traffic overall, however, some stores are closing their doors.
Some companies are closing locations soon.
If you prefer to do your thrifting at a regional store, make sure it's not one that's closing soon.
AbleLight Thrift is a popular Midwestern secondhand chain that has locations spread across six different states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Now, one of these states is about to be down a store.
The AbleLight Thrift Store in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is on the chopping block, The Sheboygan Press reported on Dec. 5. According to the newspaper, this location will close officially on Dec. 23.
The company confirmed the closure on its official Facebook page for the Sheboygan store. "Going out of business sale! 50 percent off everything in the store. Stop, shop, and save," AbleLight wrote in a recent post.
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Goodwill is also shuttering a store this month.
As it turns out, AbleLight is not the only popular secondhand store closing a location in the upcoming weeks. Goodwill is also gearing up to shutter a store in Newport, Pennsylvania, PennLive reported on Dec. 3.
According to the news outlet, this store will be closing permanently on Dec. 23 as well. Mark McGaffin, director of communications and marketing for Goodwill Keystone Area, told PennLive that all of the employees at the Newport Goodwill have been offered the opportunity to transition to another of the company's locations.
"Our stores fund our mission, and we continuously evaluate business practices and market trends to ensure current and future funding of our mission," McGaffin said. "With our lease about to expire and taking many other operational factors into account, we made this difficult business decision."
Both communities have expressed disappointment over the thrift store closures.
The upcoming closures of both the AbleLight store in Wisconsin and the Goodwill store in Pennsylvania is already creating concern for both communities—especially as so many people are relying on secondhand shopping.
"So sad to see," one Facebook user commented on a shared post about the AbleLight closure. Another wrote, "A mistake! Regroup and move forward! A large part of the community is forced to shop at thrift stores!"
Residents in Newport are equally disappointed with the news of Goodwill's closure in the community, particularly because this is the company's only location in Perry County. Kristie Smith, who is leading an online campaign to try to save the location, wrote in a Facebook post that having the Newport Goodwill store leave "would be so crippling for so many people," PennLive reported.
Smith told the news outlet that corporate officials from Goodwill have indicated that the closure is due to new space requirements from the company.
"The Newport store does not meet these new requirements and there were no opportunities to negotiate apparently," she said. "In my opinion, this whole thing is ridiculous. That store has been in this community for about 40 years. Now all of a sudden that there is some economic hardship, they are pulling out because of a space issue that they themselves dictated. Seems extremely hypocritical, especially for a store named Goodwill. These are times when the community needs this resource the most."