Minnesotans can finally bring the piles accumulating in garages and storage rooms to thrift stores without an hours long wait. Nearly all of the thrift and secondhand stores are now reopened after stay-home restrictions surrounding the coronavirus forced them to shutter from March to late May.
And they now report a more steady flow of traffic to drop off items. Those that have been open are reporting stronger sales than last year but with fewer customers, so several are offering sales to increase business.
Many retail shops, including thrifts, have been slow to reopen as they navigate mandated safety precautions for customers and employees. And donating is not as easy as before, with limits on hours and merchandise accepted.
Assistance League Thrift Shop in Richfield reopened Wednesday with shorter hours. It also will likely not accept donations until August because the store is overstocked after being closed in the spring.
The store also has other precautions. With permission, customers’ hands are sprayed with sanitizer upon entering.
“We’re being overly cautious,” said shop manager Dana Badgerow. “We’re an all-volunteer organization and to keep our volunteers safe, we’re only doing two-hour shifts.”