Shopping Centers Today

APR 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 19 of 83

"The heightened awareness Mackl- emore & Ryan Lewis have created around the concept of reuse and the value of secondhand merchandise has been really exciting," said Sara Gaugl, Savers' director of communications, in an email. "Each year we survey our shoppers, and nearly 50 percent said they were inspired by Thrift Shop and N JANUARY OF 2013 THE NO.1 RAP song in America, by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, was titled "Thrift Shop." In the accompanying video, the singers wear secondhand fur coats, rummage through racks of used footwear, and wax poetic about the joys of finding shoes for 99 cents and wearing vintage velour jump- suits — though some of the "poetry" uses language that would stiffen a drill instructor. The store that helped inspire the song, though, and inside of which much of the video was shot, is Value Village, a secondhand store in Seattle. Value Village's owner is Savers Inc., a 60-year-old pioneer of the retail thrift industry, with roughly 330 stores around the world. believed that shopping thrift was cool be- cause of the song." Years before Ben Haggerty (Seattle- born rap performer Macklemore's birth name) even was, though, Savers founder Bill Ellison was a strong proponent of the idea of repurposing and recycling old items. Ellison's grandfather and great uncle helped form the Salvation Army's chain of secondhand stores in the 1930s and 1940s. It was his family's capital and encouragement that inspired Ellison to open his own for-profit thrift store in San Francisco's Mission District in 1954. Success, Ellison knew, depended partly on the quality of their merchan- dise. And since the community provided his entire stock, Ellison well understood the importance of local relationships. "The company's success is directly tied to the community's support," said Ray I Rags to riches savers inc.'s ThrifT sTores are doing well by doing good By Rebecca Meiser r e t a I l I n g t o d a y 20 S C t / a p r i l 2 0 1 5

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