Glassboro Thrift Village: A Frugal Find

“One persons trash is another persons treasure.” This saying couldn’t be more true about the concept of thrift stores. There is something exhilarating about going to a thrift store and rummaging through the racks and going home with cheap thrills. Here in Glassboro, we are lucky enough to have the largest thrift store in New Jersey.

Glassboro Thrift Village is run by Chris Rowand and has been family owned and operated for the last 20 years. The store is 20,000 square feet of resale merchandise. GTV sells everything from clothing and accessories to furniture and electronics. Portions from each sale help local charities in need. I was able to sit down with Rowand and discuss his successful thrift business.

Glassboro Thrift Village Owner, Chris Rowand - photo credit Amanda Willis

Q: How did the thrift store come about?

A: It came about because my mother was a dispatcher and she left dispatching to start a nonprofit organization. In the beginning we were collecting funds and also donations for the organization she had running. One thing lead to another, we were getting tons of donations, and we started actually selling out of a warehouse that we had donated to us, we started selling on the weekends the products just to try to raise money. From there we opened a small little shop to try to put the clothing in the shop and the household items so the clients could go there and buy items all week. Once we raised money, we keep building and building until we settled here.

Q: What are the charities the thrift store supports?

A: There are three main charities we donate a portion of our proceeds to, Parents Anonymous, Kids Alley, and Glassboro Child Development Center.

Q: Who is your clientele?

A: It’s mixed. There’s a percentage of people who come out of necessity, but there is also a percentage of people who have a desire to find vintage, or collectables, or hard to find items. Any one could go to the mall and pick up a new t-shirt, but they come to a store like this to the find one of a kind items. Once we get it, it is a one of kind item.

Q: What is your current special sale on clothing?

A: Our clothes are usually about $2 or $3, but we always run a special where you can fill up a five gallon barrel for $15, and the clothes end up being 75 cents per items.

Q: What happens to the clothing that does not sell, or the clothing that is not fit enough to be put on the floor?

A: Nothing goes to waste. If the clothing is too old and not desirable we will sell the clothes to a rag guy. Who might turn the clothing into rags or could be bailed up and get sent over seas. But it is rare that we don’t sell the clothing. If the items are like 1970s Marsha Brady style, we like to keep that, but if it is the old 1950s or 1960s style, it is hit or miss.

Collection of high fashion shoes - photo credit Amanda Willis

Be sure to check out the Glassboro Thrift Village located at 169 Delsea Drive South. You won’t be disappointed!

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