ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As rates of inflation continue to rise at a seemingly alarming rate, have you been hitting up the local secondhand stores for your needs? Abilene area thrift stores are reporting skyrocketing business this year, crediting the success to inflation. Two local thrift stores even told KTAB/KRBC this has the best year for its businesses. 

With jeans priced at $3.00 a pair, shoes at $1.00, flatware at 25¢ flatware, the deals might sound like music to the ears of people like Al Houle, who said he does whatever he can to save money during inflation.

“Inflation has affected everybody, and I just try to stretch my dollars as far as they can go… And this gives me that opportunity here,” said Houle.

Shopping at Thrift House in Downtown Abilene, Houle said he’s noticed himself frequenting the store more than usual. Why? The prices, of course. “The prices are excellent,” he testified. 

Apparently, there are a lot more people like Houle making trips to thrift stores. The Thrift House said this has been its busiest year in more than 70 years of business. 

Thrift House’s manager Shirlene Plocheck and Assistant Manager Malinda Kraly credited the successful year to inflation, of all things.

“We have more and more new people coming and shopping with us,” said Kraly. 

Plocheck continued her employee’s thought process, “And all they say is that they can’t afford to go to the mall or the other stores.”

At Thrift House, management reported its sales were up by 30% this year. Also booming, consignments. 

“People are excited when they leave here, because the most we ever put on a blouse or a pair of nice pants is $5.00,” Kraly bragged.

Less than 20 minutes down the road in Clyde, Callahan Thrift also reported similar statistics. owner Amee Jolly told KTAB/KRBC her store had a 15% to 18% in sales just in the last six months.

“Once people started realizing the thrift prices, it just started picking up,” Jolly gave credit.

Jolly also said more people shopping at Callahan Thrift are buying household items and furniture. She said it’s all in the price point, as thrifting furniture is typically around 75% less expensive.

Another trend in the shopping habits of thrifters, Jolly’s noticed, is people are thrifting Christmas décor and gifts for their loved ones – more so in 2022 than in years prior.

Having more than just one thing in common, both the owner of Callahan Thrift and managers at Thrift House told KTAB/KRBC they just want to help people during this time, which is why they said they believe they are successful. 

“You feel like you are doing something helping them find something they want,” explained Jolly. 

Plocheck added, “We know what it is to struggle, so we want to make it a priority to help others.”