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October 15, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Housatonic Habitat brings together thrift shops

From left: Bob Watson, marketing professor, Western Connecticut State University; Michelle Barney, of Housatonic Habitat; Tyler Glunt, manager, Savers Thrift Shop; Mary Ellen Loncto, president, Ridgefield Thrift Shop; Susan Roberts, manager, King Street United Church of Christ Thrift Shop; Terry Hansen, Deer Hill Thrift Shop; Kara Illium, Housatonic Habitat; and Fran Normann.

Housatonic Habitat for Humanity hosted the first meeting of a new collaboration between region thrift shows to highlight the growing regional impact of this segment of retailing.

Representatives of several thrift shops, which support a variety of nonprofit missions, discussed ways to combine forces to publicize their operations and missions. The meeting followed Housatonic Habitat’s publication of the area’s first “Local Thrift Shops Guide.” The free brochure lists more than a dozen local thrift shops, their focus, mission and hours of operation.

“We are very pleased with the turnout of our first meeting,” said Fran Normann, Housatonic Habitat’s executive director. Normann said that they hope to create special events to help promote the local thrift shops.

Housatonic Habitat cited industry research showing that thrift and consignment shop sales have increased 50 percent over the last decade, while sales at traditional brick-and-mortar stores have declined. Used furniture and used books are some of the strongest segments of the resale industry. The research shows that consumers like to shop at thrift stores for environmental reasons as well as to express their individuality.

Housatonic Habitat for Humanity is based in Danbury.