Last week I told you about two of four thrift shops I visited a couple of weeks ago while staying in Richmond BC. Today, I’ll share the treasures I found at two more.
The VV in Richmond is located right next to the Richmond Animal Protection Society’s quirky little, classic thrift shop. I didn’t bother taking a photo of it because if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all (if you really want a photo, visit this blog post where I took one of the VV in Ottawa. For those of you in America, Value Village is the Canadian brand for Savers.)
I’ve visited this VV once before and had the same experience: it feels a little dumpy for a Value Village. As much as we love to criticize VV for its higher prices, one of the things you can usually count on (aside from huge selection) is cleanliness and tidiness, which I attribute to the advantage of having a paid staff. The one time you see this breakdown is at Hallowe’en, when an army of staff couldn’t keep up with the chaos that ensues at most VV outlets. This one just feels dingy; the floors weren’t swept, the racks had fallen clothes underneath them, the shoe area was really messy, that kind of thing. Generally, I don’t mind this in a thrift shop but because you’re used to a certain standard at VV, it’s surprising. What I did notice and appreciate was the ethnic diversity in the staff. I counted 5 different countries represented just in the cashiers: India, Philippines, China, Russia (I think, the accent was Russian sounding) and Canada. It was a picture of Canada, really.
I tried on a whole bunch of things while I was here but only came away with three things: a pair of brand new Reitmans cords and a book for myself and a soccer jersey for Aaron, who is on the search for things with Whitecaps logos.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has thrift shops all over BC; this one is on Minoru Blvd. What I didn’t realize about the SPCA is that their mission is to care for domestic, farm and wild animals – here in BC, they operate the province’s second largest wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Their thrift store supports all of SPCA’s work and visiting here was an interesting experience. It’s basically a dark, unheated warehouse. What’s unusual is that it has less clothing than other things: lots of furniture, appliances, tons of tools and sports equipment, electronics, household goods and knick-knacks galore. Nothing has a price tag on it, so it’s a bit of an adventure when you head to the till. I tried on a few things but the one fitting room, with a door that didn’t close properly and didn’t have a proper lock on it, was so cold that I didn’t spend a lot of time there! I picked up a pair of yoga pants for $3.
How much does the charity that a thrift shop supports influence your patronage?