Thrift and pawn shops thrive despite economy

Despite the bad economy, some stores in South Bend are thriving. Thrift stores and pawn shops are getting more customers this year, than in years past.

ABC 57 stopped by the Goodwill store in West Western Avenue in South Bend where people were lining up outside the store before it opened for business.

"On a 50% off day, you might see the line halfway to the back of the store. We have all the cash registers up and going and a lot of times we're bringing in an extra cash register" said Vice President of Workforce Development Debie Coble.

Thrift stores like Goodwill sell people second hand items at a discounted price, then give back to the community by taking profit and using it to get people back to work. But since many are struggling right now, they are actually getting more attention from the South Bend Community.

"They've seen people who got laid off, and it caused them to wake up and think maybe I got to keep to my budget" said Coble.

Take Donna Minix, she says stores like this keep her going. It's a scavenger hunt, and you never know what you're going to get.

"Well I come here at least once a week. Sometimes twice a week depending on what I see. They have a lot of half off sales, and I come because they have something different all the time. This is what people need, because if you need something you might not find it at first but it will come here eventually" said Minix.

While some people flock to stores just like Goodwill, others try to  make some more money by going to stores like Worldwide Jewelry and Pawn in South Bend.

"If you need $20 bucks to get through the week to finish off your week, it's really difficult to go to your bank and get $20 bucks, so they just come to us and we help them get to work the rest of the week or the month" said Manager Lisa Rodas.

Rodas and her coworkers are in the business of collateral loans. They hold onto a customers item,. lend them some money for it, and keep it if they don't come back and pay them. She says they went from having $40,000 on the street, to $140,000 since last year.

"I think times are real difficult right now. I think people are just trying to get through the week, trying to get through the month" said Rodas.

According to Lisa, her pawn shop usually does best around tax time, and worst during the summer. However she says, this summer has been great, and her shop made nearly double then what it did last summer. 


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