Value Village a hit with bargain shoppers

A lineup of about 80 people anxiously awaited for the doors to officially open to Penticton’s Value Village on Thursday morning.

Value Village employee Mary Hagel helps Jerry Vakenti

Value Village employee Mary Hagel helps Jerry Vakenti

A lineup of about 80 people anxiously awaited for the doors to officially open to Penticton’s Value Village on Thursday morning.

Shoppers, almost all pushing carts, made their way in at 9 a.m. to the 24,675 square foot store that was fully stocked with clothes, housewares, shoes and electronics.

Jerry Vakenti was the first shopper through the cash register, purchasing a couple of books, an antique looking calendar/clock and framed prints.

“They have quite a bit of unique stuff and you can get a good deal,” said Vakenti.

Peggy Peterson was one of the first people in line and had been waiting to get in the doors since 7:35 a.m. She works in the Medicine Hat, Alta. Value Village store and even though she was on vacation in Penticton she wanted to make sure she came to the grand opening. Peterson believes the store will do well at this location.

“First of all the prices on items are more reasonable than at other stores. Value Village also works with non-profits, in this case Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the staff are so friendly,” said Peterson.

Value Village stocks more than 5,000 new items daily and has more than 100,000 unique items on the sales floor at any given time, ensuring customers continuously find a refreshed assortment of quality, value goods. The Penticton store has items that were donated locally, from Kelowna and Vancouver. The store also houses a Community Donation Centre, providing a convenient place for residents to drop off their reusable clothing and household goods free of charge. Value Village will pay Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan for every donated item, turning otherwise unused goods into sustainable revenue that supports their programs and services in the local community. Big Brothers Big Sisters programs match children with screened and trained volunteer Big Brothers or Sisters that offer friendship, guidance and fun for the child.

“We’re excited to offer even more ways for residents in Penticton to help Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan,” said Lisa Hobson, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan. “Through our partnership with Value Village, anyone can turn otherwise unused goods into funding for our important programs and services — including one-to-one mentoring and group mentoring programs that encourage healthy lifestyles.”

This is the third Value Village store to open in the Okanagan, adding to the 270 locations across Canada, United States and Australia. Penticton store manager Heather Ballum said Value Village gave $144 million to its non-profit partners last year and over $1 billion over the past 10 years.

“We have been trying to get into Penticton for five years now. It is a very natural fit and we are happy to have the opportunity to be here,” said Ballum.

The new store comes in conjunction with the ever-increasing thrift shopping trend, which is one of the fastest growing retail segments. Lifestyle, economy and social trends have contributed to the growth, including the popularity of do-it-yourself projects, renewed interest in vintage clothing, and importantly, environmentally and budget-conscientious consumers. Last year alone, Value Village and its non-profit partners kept more than 500 million pounds of unused goods from ending up in landfills.

“We’re excited to open a store in Penticton and offer local shoppers great selection and deals on quality designer and vintage fashions, home décor, and more,” said Ballum. “We partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan for our Vernon and Kelowna stores, and we’re excited to grow this partnership. We’re so pleased to help this great organization encourage children to reach their full potential.”

Special grand opening activities continue through Saturday, including the chance to win one of five $100 Value Village gift certificates.

The Penticton store and Community Donation Centre, located at 101 Rosetown Ave., will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, customers may contact the store directly at (250) 490-9701 or visit www.valuevillage.com.