February 20, 2009

Goodwill finds new popularity in recession

Second-hand clothing stores are enjoying a new vogue in the United States and a new, recession-aided popularity, Goodwill managers said.

We're trying to position the stores as hip and contemporary and a trendy shopping environment, Pat Boelter, a Goodwill vice president of marketing services, told the Chicago Tribune.

We're trying to get rid of the stigmas that many people have of shopping at a Goodwill store or a resale store, Boelter said, the newspaper reported Friday.

While the second-hand stores are finding a new popularity, many are rising to the occasion. In the Chicago-Milwaukee markets Goodwill plans to double its outlets to 50 by 2012.

Vicki Holschuh, with a masters degree in business and retail experience at Kohls, said she is hiring experienced retail managers, upgrading window displays and providing fashion consultants online at AmazingGoodwill.com, the Tribune said.

While sales at retail chains fell 2 percent in the final quarter of 2008, Goodwill sales rose 8 percent. The Chicago-Milwaukee Goodwill region notched $49 million in sales in 2007, using the most recent data.