by Winston Chua
ARCADIA – Yo. That’s $50 for a T-shirt.
Definitely not at Savers in Arcadia.
Hip hop artist Macklemore may have put the cool back into thrift shopping, but it’s a place like Savers in Arcadia that provided him with the inspiration.
Arcadia’s Savers thrift store, which houses a vast selection of clothing from $1.99 and up, among a plethora of other bargain-priced items, opened to the public for the first time on Live Oak Avenue on March 6.
But shopping at the new location gives much more than great deals to would-be consumers.
Shopping at Savers directly and indirectly helps individuals who have developmental disabilities with job training and coaching through the thrift chain’s longstanding partnership with Hope Services.
It’s Hope Services’ philosophy that all people with developmental disabilities should be able to live and participate fully in their communities.
With revenue from Savers, more than 3,700 individuals throughout California with developmental disabilities are supported to achieve their personal goals.
Last year, Savers and its 330 stores in both the U.S. and Canada contributed $200 million to their collective non-profit partnerships. In the last 10 years the collection of stores have contributed $1.5 billion.
“Of all the retail jobs I’ve had, this is the most satisfying because I know first-hand this supports non-profits,” said store manager Don Cruz, who has been working with Savers since 2008. “The support Savers provides is what allows for the training and coaching of people with developmental disabilities.”
Savers purchases donated items collected by Hope Services and also contributes money earned through sales from their stores.
Savers collects a wide variety of products from donors. They also make use of damaged clothes and toys which can be sent to parts of Asia or Africa to be sold by local business owners in the open market.
The Arcadia store is the newest location to open up.
Five other locations are currently in California including La Mirada, Lomita, Anaheim, Riverside and Murietta. Fountain Valley’s store is scheduled to open around the end of June. Cruz has hosted Savers’ Grand Openings in Arcadia, Anaheim and Riverside.
The chain was founded in 1954 by Bill Ellison and has partnered with Hope Services since 1970. In 2013, some of the Southern California stores began their partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation.
Savers makes purchases to its partnering agencies for donations collected by the pound.
As for the items in the stores?
“Something given away by one person may be beautiful to someone else,” said Cruz, who showed off stylish Kenneth Cole pants he found during a recent purchase of his. “Cookware was selling like hotcakes. We have treasure hunters and bargain hunters.”
Savers’ items include clothing, jewelry, sporting goods, comforters, toys and much more. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s hit Thrift Shop gave great coverage to the Seattle Savers, as that particular store was featured in many parts of the popular music video viewed by more than half a billion people.
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