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Survey: Thrift store customers want, don’t need, savings


Bellevue, Wash. – Thrift shop customers appreciate the deep savings, but most of them do not shop out of necessity.

According to a new survey of 1,001 U.S. adults from the Savers thrift shop chain, 76% of Americans are choosing thrift with the top two reasons being that it’s cost-effective and feels like a treasure hunt. The new data about Americans’ shopping behaviors also highlights:

• 77% agree that it’s important that they get a good deal or value on the items they buy.

• Almost 40% place importance on finding unique items for their wardrobes or homes.

• Almost three-quarters (73%) of Americans prioritize the environment in their lifestyle or shopping habits, and more than 60% feel it’s essential that they recycle.

A higher percentage of thrift shoppers prioritize buying sustainable or recycled products as compared to those that do not shop thrift (46% compared to 37%), and a higher percentage also try to purchase items made by companies who are environmentally conscious (40% compared to 27%).

Looking at back-to-school patterns, more parents than non-parents (86% compared to 71%) have visited thrift stores and 53% of parents would be most likely to shop at a thrift store for clothing or shoes this back-to-school season.

Close to 80% of respondents have shopped at thrift stores, and almost 40% of thrift shoppers visit their favorite thrift store at least monthly. Since last year, Americans are less likely to clip coupons (43% versus 50%) and regularly look out for sales (50% versus 57%).

Eighty percent of thrifters have visited thrift stores to buy something related to entertainment or hobbies; specifically, books, toys or games, movies, electronics, music, crafting supplies and sports equipment. Almost as many (72%) have purchased furniture or some common home items from a thrift shop.

When they shop, saving money is top of mind for far more women than men. More women than men find it important to get a good deal on the things they buy (82% compared to 72%), try to pay full price as rarely as possible (60% compared to 44%) and attempt to stick to budgets when they shop (49% compared to 38%). Also, more women than men are likely to shop at stores that have sales often (59% compared to 44%), and perhaps not surprisingly, tend to beeline to the sale section the moment they walk in (53% compared to 30%).

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