Shopping in This Economy

While the failing economy is nothing of news to most people, it should come as no surprise that retail is suffering as well.

With consumers looking for alternative ways to purchase familiar brands at manageable
prices, the second hand clothing business has seen a recent increase in sales.

Last year Goodwill saw a 7 percent increase in sales from the months of January through August as compared to the same months of the previous year, according to the New York Times. The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops reports a 35 percent increase in the industry overall.

This dramatic increase is likely due to the public's concern with saving money, as well as the average consumer being more
environmentally concerned than they were
in the past. By shopping at a local second
hand store, consumers are reusing items that may have otherwise been discarded and sent to a landfill. "People still need to consume, but want discounted prices," says Atom Whitman, an employee at Wasteland in Santa Monica.

Whitman reports a slight increase in the store's traffic and sales since the start of the recession. Wasteland sells new and used
clothing at discounted prices. In addition
to their vintage clothing, they also carry
designer labels such as True Religion, Miss
Sixty and Ben Sherman.

Jenny Kanish, manager of The Council Thrift Store on Venice Boulevard, says that their store has seen such an increase in business that they have extended hours on weekends to meet the demands of customers. "It's definitely because of the economy," Kanish says, adding that the increase has brought in people of all ages, especially families.

With stores providing penny-pinching consumers with both regular and designer labels, there are fewer and fewer reasons to keep shopping at major retail outlets. Even after the economy picks up, it may be hard to want to go back to paying full price for a pair of jeans.