Thrifting for the holidays: As retail sales rise, Tampa Bay families turn to secondhand stores for gifts

Local News

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — With consumer prices bounding higher, people are looking for cheaper ways to shop for the holidays.

Retail prices jumped 6.2% in October from a year earlier, but this has not deterred people from spending freely. Retail and food service sales increased 16.3% compared with a year ago, and surged 1.7% in October, compared with 0.8% the previous month, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Although consumers have ramped up spending, many in Tampa Bay are trying to save money on holiday shopping.

Merrell Dickey who volunteers for The Society of St. Vincent de Paul says he’s seeing more families shopping at the consignment store in recent weeks.

“It provides a place for people who might be struggling, living in poverty or living in challenging times, have lost their job—this becomes a place where it’s affordable and they’re nice things,” he told 8 On Your Side. “Of course, Black Friday is the big day and our sales are high but we’ll stay high throughout the holidays and I think, more so this year because of the costs going up in other places.”

Dickey said the consignment store has toys, bikes, purses and other items that can be used as stocking stuffers, which cost a fraction of the retail price, and the cash will go back into the community.

“When you shop here, yes, you’re getting a bargain, but you are honestly helping end homelessness for U.S. veterans, our heroes, and for those families whose mothers have had to flee domestic violence and are living in cars. We’re helping that,” he said.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has four locations in the Tampa Bay area.

  • 12310 North Nebraska Avenue in Tampa
  • 1311 3rd Street NE in Ruskin
  • 180 34th Street North in St. Petersburg
  • 23399 U.S. Highway 19 North in Clearwater

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss