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Until recently, a Goodwill store opening likely wasn't considered an "event," but having a DJ spin records at the recent opening of the secondhand chain's fourth store in the city signals a change in the air. Crain's New York reports the new Union Square store is targeting fashion-conscious shoppers with trendy apparel and promotional arrangements, and that model will likely be replicated in other stores.
While resale businesses typically rely on high turnover and a large selection of available product to attract customers, many thrift stores, including Goodwill, are now focusing on tailoring their collection of apparel to bring in shoppers. "Millennials are a larger, growing group, and they like the more boutique-y, trendy type of stores," Goodwill VP and chief development officer Karen Means told the publication. Being able to offer high-end fashion at low-end prices puts secondhand stores in an attractive position to millennials who want to look good without an empty wallet to contribute to quarter-life crises.
2nd Time Around is embracing this shift two-fold: by expanding physically, adding at least six new locations in Manhattan, and philosophically, by rebranding as a New York luxury chain with higher-end offerings. Even Habit for Humanity is imitating this system with the home goods sold in its recently-opened retail store in Queens; it plans to open pop-up shops in Manhattan to capture more customers.
If the shopping experience offered by New York's best secondhand stores can be elevated without raising prices, millennials have won the sartorial jackpot.