Time for another Colorado Springs thrift store review… After being in Old Colorado City at Bargain Mart, Recess, This N That, and Goodwill, for the next two weeks we’ll be on the northeast side of town for the Salvation Army Family Store and the Powers Goodwill Store (review coming next week!).
The Salvation Army Family Store opened in 2009 and is now the only Salvation Army thrift store in Colorado Springs. It’s on Tutt Blvd, just north of North Carefree, and about a mile north of the Goodwill Store on Waynoka Place. So, with that in mind, I tend to compare these two to each other, and have some obvious preferences. ;)
The Salvation Army store is in a brand-new building and is very clean and bright. And, it’s quite big, too! I’m thinking it may be the biggest thrift store in the Springs, though I can’t find any square footage data (the Goodwill on Circle might be bigger).
If you’re looking for furniture, this is the place to go: about half of the store is full of furniture! When it first opened, it was more like 1/4 of the store was furniture, but they’ve expanded this section and have quite a lot available! This is definitely a strength of this store – head here first if you need chairs or tables.
They’ve got a pretty typical selection of housewares, but their book selection is pretty small – just a few shelves of books available.
This store has lots of clothing, and one thing I really like: clothing is organized by size! This is a huge advantage over other stores, and definitely something that’s really nice if you are short on time and need to find a specific item without browsing through all the racks.
Obviously, they have lots of different brands, and one brand’s size 8 may be totally different than another brands. So, you’ll probably want to look at the racks for a size up and a size down to make sure you don’t miss anything. Their children’s clothing is well-organized, too – moreso by type of clothing (dresses are separate from pants, for example) than size, but they do seem to separate infant/toddler/kid.
But, for me, the big drawback to this store is that (I think) their prices are high. Women’s pants (jeans and dress slacks) are $6.50 to $8.50, a price I am not willing to pay for 90% of used clothing, even if it is organized by size. Children’s clothing ranges from $1 to around $4, and in my opinion, a lot of the stuff that’s price at $4 is not worth it.
Now, they do hold 50% off sales on occasion – in fact, I think that’s the only time I’ve ever purchased anything here. Their clothing is affordable at 50% off, but unfortunately, their only sale advertisement seems to be the small yellow banner they put outside the store, so you never know when they’re running a sale unless you happen to be driving by.
Last time I was in, they had a signup for their email list and had a sign promising to do a better job about announcing sale events – I hope they do, because I’d love to let you know when they do their 50% off sales!
One thing that’s nice about their sales is that when they run them, they don’t usually exclude the newest items. Goodwill keeps their items at full price for 2 weeks, then it goes to 30% off and then 50% off. So, by the time it hits 50% off at Goodwill, it’s pretty picked over. But, then again, Goodwill’s regular prices, at least on apparel, are roughly equivalent to 50% off at Salvation Army.
(Arc Thrift Stores run 50% off every Saturday, but exclude the newest items.)
A couple of other things I noted: all sales are final, there are absolutely no returns. Not a huge drawback to me, but since I can’t stop comparing this store to Goodwill, Goodwill does allow returns on most items.
And, finally: I really think their shopping carts are unsafe and nearly unusable with a child in the child seat. They tend to push side-to-side instead of forwards and backwards, and they always seem as if they’re on the verge of tipping over if you bump them just right. The
y honestly remind me a lot of toy shopping carts!
I could really love this store if they did a better job of advertising their sales – they’ve definitely got some great things like a large furniture selection and clothing organized by size! I’d love to hear what you think about this store in the comments!
Address: 3955 Tutt Blvd.; Colorado Springs
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 8 PM; closed Sundays