SECONDHAND NOW CHIC AROUND THE LOWCOUNTRY
The Great Recession era has been generally awful for housing values and job prospects but has resulted in a boon for secondhand stores across the country. According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, the number of resale stores increased seven percent in each of the past two years. Much of the recent growth can be attributed to young shoppers, many of whom are passing on trips to the mall in favor of thrift stores. About 20 percent of people shop in thrift stores regularly, compared with about 14 percent in 2011.
At some point during the recession and its lingering aftermath, Gen Y, the youth demographic burdened with huge student loans and an awful job market, realized that perhaps paying $30 for a new T-shirt was unwise. It certainly was not sustainable. Young shoppers may have first turned to thrift stores out of necessity or desperation, but by now, they’re more likely to view secondhand shopping as sensible — even cool.