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How Arc Thrift grows its business with Retail Pro

Thrift stores have found their people.

Thrift stores appeal not just to the artsy, bohemian crowd aiming for a certain "look," but also to bargain-hunting shoppers and collectors of items from yesteryear.

The resale market will reach $41 billion by 2022, up from $20 billion in 2017, according to research by reseller ThredUp.

One in three women shopped secondhand in 2017.

That’s 44 million compared with 35 million in 2016.

Colorado's Arc Thrift is riding that wave of popularity, but they opened their doors in an era well before it was chic "to thrift."

In fact, its story and mission is a bit different from other thrift stores: ARC is over 50 years old and a significant number of its 1,700 employees have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The company provides advocacy, services, and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and many other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Today, Arc Thrift is opening new locations at a clip of 2 to 3 per year, for a current total of 29 stores.

The spreading store footprint is no doubt benefiting from television programs such as "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo," which highlight the joy of cleaning out closets, bookcases, garages – no nook or cranny is safe.

All those hidden gems are finding their way to stores such as Arc, which is now leasing buildings that once were homes to the likes of Kmart, Sears and Safeway.

 

Read their story on the Retail Pro website >

 
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