Chanel, Prada, and Burberry are in short supply at your typical Goodwill — and if you find something by one of those designers there, consider yourself a thrift ninja. But you may no longer need those kinds of wiles to snap up luxury goods. In an unusual move, the thrift mecca has been opening higher-end “boutique” stores in wealthy areas like Orange County, California, and Lake Forest, Illinois — a total of 60 locations thus far, reports the Los Angeles Times. One, in Anaheim, even has a vinyl listening station and a selection of flannel shirts (so it’s basically Urban Outfitters?).
The move was made not just to compete with higher-end consignment stores, but also because as the economy improves, thrift-store shopping is predicted to decline. Having more haute merchandise, especially in well-off areas, is one way to combat that drop-off. It’s also a way to offset the thrift-store stigma that still exists in these areas. One shopping-center consultant told the paper that landlords consider thrift stores an unappealing proposition, especially in wealthier areas. (It took eight years for Goodwill to break into tony Orange County, for example.) Meanwhile, the Konmari phenomenon shows no signs of waning, so there should be a pipeline of merch from Marie Kondo acolytes.