Thrift stores balance inflation costs with keeping customers happy

Area stores say price increases are usually 50 cents or less
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As inflation boosts prices everywhere, even thrift stores aren’t immune.

The Wall Street Journal said both Goodwill and Salvation Army U-S-A local stores are adjusting prices with the value of the items. Two Wausau thrift stores are having to balance inflation costs while keeping customers happy.

“This is ‘Dime and Dollar,’ not everything can be a dime or a dollar anymore,” said Terri Ten Haken, volunteer, Dime and Dollar Thrift Store.

Haken has been volunteering at Dime and Dollar for more than 5 years.

“My mom has been volunteering here for 35 years and I enjoy spending the day with her,” said Haken.

They’re part of the reason the thrift store is able to keep costs low. Along with 30 to 40 other volunteers.

“The majority of our workforce is all volunteer, so we don’t have an overhead that most businesses have,” said Haken.

A manager at Dime and Dollar said price increases are usually 50 cents or less and most customers don’t complain about the extra cost.

“Our customers are understanding of the small amount of inflation that we do have,” said Haken.

Wausau St. Vincent de Paul is facing the same challenges.

“We went through a point where we felt like price increases were the way to go,” said Kim Kuske, Store Manager at St. Vincent de Paul.

However, they found they weren’t selling as much so they took a different approach.

“We’ve run different discount sales. we now have a 99-cent sale every single week,” said Kuske.

Kuske said they had to get creative to combat the costs.

“Of course, we’ve experienced the same things everyone else has experienced. We run our trucks so we’ve got the fuel increases and the operations of that... of course to heat the whole building, air condition the whole building, we’ve had the inflation costs for that,” said Kuske.

Labor costs for employees are another expense. Luckily they have 52 volunteers who contribute about 400 hours of service a month.

“We’ve seen an increase in customers and I think again it’s because so many people in the community are seeking for different ways on how they can save,” said Kuske.

Generous volunteers are how both stores their keep their costs low and their doors open. If you’d like to volunteer stop in or call.

Click here for Dime and Dollar Facebook page with their phone number and hours. Here is St. Vincent de Paul website with hours and phone number.

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