Round vs. Straight

ya. i get a little grumpy sometimes.

ya. i get a little grumpy sometimes.

Warning: this is a pet-peeve blog post in which I tell you how I really feel.

I was in my local Salvation Army Thrift Store recently and noticed that they had changed nearly all their racks from long, straight racks to round racks. I hate this.

The thing is, they’re not the only ones who do this. I think I understand the rational: the idea is that more can fit on a round rack and since it’s usually lower than a straight rack, you can see what’s on the rack better. That’s the theory, anyway.

a Thrift Shop in Pennsylvania. See how the hangers are bending into the centre on the over-stuffed round rack?

a Thrift Shop in Pennsylvania. See how the hangers are bending into the centre on the over-stuffed round rack?

The reality is that people take the “can fit more” part way too seriously and cram the round racks so full that you can’t move the clothing at all. Unless they’re nearly empty, round racks don’t allow you to move the clothing aside easily to see what’s behind it because the hangers rub against each other inside the rack and can’t really separate.

The other issue I see with round racks is that they take up more floor space so you need to keep them further apart from each other. You’d think that given the cost of real estate, thrift shops in particular would want to maximize their space.

the nicely sorted racks at what was MCC Abby East

the nicely sorted racks at what was MCC Abby East

Straight racks can obviously be stuffed too full as well, making it hard to see what’s on the rack but assuming that the racks are not over stuffed, a straight rack allows you to see the product more easily and the hangers are more easily separated from one another.

The SPCA thrift shop on the west side of Vancouver. See the good use of double decker space here?

The SPCA thrift shop on the west side of Vancouver. See the good use of double decker space here?

If space is an issue, I think that double-decker racking is ideal because it allows you to use the “wasted” space that is above a rack – my only issue, as a short person, is that sometimes it’s hard to get at what’s up high.

Round racks are great if you’re operating a high end boutique and only have 12 things for sale in your whole store. Straight racks allow you to hold a higher number of items, take up less floor space and in my not-so-humble opinion, make for a better shopping experience.

What do you think?

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