Shoppers Seek Discount Retailer To Buy Holiday Gifts

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ARLINGTON, Va., (WUSA) -- "Good morning! How are you all!"

Perhaps it's the way Debra Jackson greets each person who enters this Goodwill store. Or, the chance you really could find a treasure on the hunt.

"This is a wool one, and new one," says shopper Jorge Dejsus.

Just a couple of weeks ago, this place overflowed with deal seekers on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

"All my kids were home for the holiday.  And I said, "Come on let's hit the thrift shops!  And it was great," TJ Burnside Clapp says.

Since then, the sales at Goodwill stores are steady as people take others' something old and turn it into something new.

Customer Diane Martinez says, "They have pretty good prices."

"You can find things here you won't find in other places," says shopper Arthur Hall.

Goodwill's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Brendan Hurley says, "Consumer behavior is changing as a result of the economy.  People are looking for better value for their dollars."

And he adds, their typical shopper is changing.

"We've seen a real shift in the demographic profile in the Goodwill customer.  We're seeing more affluent consumers coming into our stores, more highly educated consumers coming into our stores," Hurely says.

One customer came to shop in the store to prepare for a new job.

"I have to save where I can, and the Goodwill is a great place to come considering I can get a pair of slacks for 5 bucks," she says.

But, it turns out that giving in thrift has become more socially acceptable.  And, people who give to the non-profit's bins aren't just after the tax deduction.

BJ Burnside Clapp says, "I like the fact that the money's going to the community.  And, also that I'm not contributing to waste and recycling."

Good will is doing something right because the customers we talked to say they can't wait to come back.

Tomorrow is Tuesday.  The one day of the week you'll save the most at Goodwill.

They put out new merchandise, and it's Customer Appreciation Day, which means you'll save 25 percent on your purchase.

Story by Stephanie Wilson, Published: December 12, 2011

Read the full article at Channel 9 News (wusa9.com).

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