Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Opening a New Nonprofit Thrift Store: Performance, Competition, Pricing, and Financial Sustainability

Wodon, Divya and Wodon, Naina and Wodon, Quentin (2013): Opening a New Nonprofit Thrift Store: Performance, Competition, Pricing, and Financial Sustainability.

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Abstract

The thrift store market in the United States is thriving, driven in part by hard economic times but also by changing perceptions and habits. As a result some nonprofits are considering expanding their thrift store operations, often with the hope that earnings from new or expanded thrift stores may help fund other programs for low income individuals and families. Before opening a new thrift store, it is however important to conduct a detailed analysis to assess whether a new store is likely to be successful. Such an analysis should focus among others on likely performance, including versus the competition, the choice of location, and financial sustainability. This paper illustrates how such an analysis can be conducted using program and competitor information as well as a client survey of the current clientele of an existing store. The analysis is carried through a case study of Martha’s Outfitters, the thrift store of Martha’s Table in Washington, DC.

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