Debbie Gagne, co-owner at Second Chance Clothing and Home Decor consignment store, said things have been looking up since the store reopened amid the ongoing pandemic. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Red Deer thrift stores busy amid COVID-19

Red Deerians may have taken their spring cleaning to a new level this year while they were stuck at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

That has meant thrift stores are receiving donations in large numbers.

Nadine Peterson, manager of the Renew Thrift Store, said customers were able to drop off donations even when the outlet was closed at the height of the pandemic.

In a way, the dropoff service helped central Albertans keep busy and productive, and assisted their mental health, at a time when they needed stability in their lives, said Peterson.

“People have been so thankful. We’ve heard so many stories they were sharing with us, that they were feeling lost because everything they knew about the world was shut down,” she said.

Now that the store is open, the manager sees new faces who come in to shop, or sometimes, just to wander around.

“Because they want something to do, they’ve been isolated for so long,” she explained.

Donations at the store have roughly doubled compared to last year, and sales have increased about 50 per cent.

Peterson believes thrift stores are going to play a bigger role in the community going forward, as our economy takes time to recover.

The pandemic has also started a movement – to support local and to give back, Peterson said.

The donations from central Albertans are allowing the store to provide merchandise at an affordable price for families at a time when they want to stretch their dollars, she said.

“As a non-profit, donations are what keep our doors open and help us give back to the community,” Peterson said.

Cora Hoekstra, manager at Mission Thrift store in Red Deer, agrees people have been busy tidying during the lockdown.

The store, which used to open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. before COVID-19, now opens from noon to 5 p.m. But the shorter hours haven’t impacted sales, said Hoekstra.

“I think there is part of our society that loves thrift-store shopping, and so as soon as we were open, they were happy to be back,” Hoekstra said, adding people are eager to be out and about again.

Debbie Gagne, co-owner at Second Chance Clothing and Home Decor consignment store, said people are taking it to heart to shop local amid the global pandemic.

Gagne said the store has been busier this month compared to last month, but that could be because the store has a sale on.

“We started (that sale) early, because with people being out of work, we want to help them out,” she said.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Artist Nathan Scott’s The Face-off is one of Red Deer’s most recent public artworks. It was installed at Servus Arena. (Advocate file photo.)
Red Deer city council opts to leave public art selection to a commission

Only projects costing at least $1 million will now trigger art component

Red Deer City Coun. Michael Dawe spoke up about an attempted break-in at his home during a city council meeting that discussed policing priorities. (Advocate file photo).
All crimes should be reported, says Red Deer’s RCMP superintendent

Policing priorities are cracking down on property and drug crimes

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the province sat at 4,477 Monday afternoon, up 826 from Friday’s 3,651, said Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

Alberta reported 1,440 new COVID-19 cases on Monday from over the weekend,… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Three Red Deer based dealerships have donated $10,000 to various local organizations including the food bank. (File Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Three Red Deer car dealerships help organizations in need

Three Red Deer automobile dealerships have come together to donate $10,000 to… Continue reading

“Our members have decided they just can’t do this anymore. We’ve protected this province and you’ve treated us like dirt, so enough is enough,” says AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola, whose members protested outside the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre on Momday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Updated: Hospital workers strike in Red Deer

Some surgeries and ambulatory care clinics postponed around the province

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre could be affected by cuts to Alberta Health Services announced by the government Tuesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
David Marsden: Yes, we know how to do laundry

Union leaders would have us believe there’s something special about their members:… Continue reading

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill (22) tips a pass in the end zone intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. The ball was caught by Rams safety Taylor Rapp, behind, for a touchback. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis )
Rams dominate matchup of tough defences, beat Bears 24-10

Rams dominate matchup of tough defences, beat Bears 24-10

Matthew Raymond, charged with four counts of first degree murder, is taken from provincial court in Fredericton, N.B., on December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Mother of Fredericton shooter says she often advised him to see a doctor for help

Mother of Fredericton shooter says she often advised him to see a doctor for help

PM says budget update won’t have fiscal anchor, suggests one coming after crisis over

PM says budget update won’t have fiscal anchor, suggests one coming after crisis over

Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe speaks during a press conference in south Regina on Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020. Moe will appear at a car rally with supporters this afternoon outside of Regina.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell
Four Moe Years: Scott Moe and Saskatchewan Party defeat NDP for 4th straight majority

Four Moe Years: Scott Moe and Saskatchewan Party defeat NDP for 4th straight majority

Bayern's Alphonso Davies controls the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany on February 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matthias Schrader
Canadian star Alphonso Davies could be out for two months after injuring ankle

Canadian star Alphonso Davies could be out for two months after injuring ankle

B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
David Braley, owner of three Canadian Football League franchises, dead at 79

David Braley, owner of three Canadian Football League franchises, dead at 79

Most Read