St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County (SVdP) welcomed customers to its newest St. Vinnie’s store, at 888 Garfield St., with grand-opening festivities on Sept. 29.
Hundreds of opening-day customers enjoyed free refreshments and had a chance to win door prizes throughout the day, and entries are also being accepted through Sunday, Oct. 2, for a $500 St. Vinnie’s gift-card raffle drawing. (Winner need not be present).
This new St. Vinnie’s is unique among the 13 Oregon store locations operated by SVdP. The prominent West Eugene storefront will offer much in its inventory that customers won’t find at the other retail-thrift sites. The 888 Garfield store features many unique items, including donated pieces that might be too large or specialized, odd or unusual to fit in at the other stores. It also offers generally lower prices on many items and an overall vibe similar to what local thrifters might recall from St. Vinnie’s previous store nearby at 2345 W. Broadway.
“Customers have told us for years that they miss our old warehouse-style store, where they never quite knew what treasures they would discover on any given day,” says SVdP Executive Director Terry McDonald. “We’re excited to revive that kind of shopping experience in this great location on Garfield, and give our customers one more place to find incredible values just as they help us create jobs, reduce waste, and provide life-stabilizing services in our community.”
The unexpected in store
This site veers from St. Vinnie’s usual store model in several ways, including its lack of clothing and books for sale. The focus here, in addition to the unique and unusual, is on furniture, housewares and miscellaneous items, including some needing minor repairs or cosmetic touch-ups and priced accordingly; home-improvement materials; as-is appliances (think missing handles, crisper bins, etc.); a large electronics department; and an ever-changing array of overstock and seasonal/holiday items.
As at every St. Vinnie’s, customers also will find a selection of quality furniture and home décor procured through exclusive relationships with some of the world’s best-known upscale retailers. St. Vinnie’s typically offers these new and nearly new specialty products — customer returns, floor models, overstock and past-season items, and the like — at 20 to 50 percent of their retail price.
SVdP keeps these desirable would-be discards out of the nation’s landfills by paying to ship them from across the country to Eugene, then having staff assemble and/or lightly refurbish products as needed before distribution to all St. Vinnie’s stores for resale. The Garfield store will feature many of these items, including some of the “scratch and dent” variety offered at greater discounts.
St. Vinnie’s will continue to offer quality resale and like-new products at all stores, while utilizing this new specialty storefront to showcase many of the special-interest items that often arrive at SVdP’s donation centers throughout the area. So, shoppers in ongoing pursuit of thrifting thrills should always expect the unexpected at 888 Garfield.
The 888 Garfield store and donation center occupies about 15,000 square feet in front of the future HOPE Community Corp. factory for manufactured homes destined to serve the affordable-housing needs of low-income Oregonians. (Learn more about that SVdP-affiliated nonprofit enterprise, now in progress, HERE.)
Business hours at 888 Garfield St. are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The new store’s phone number is 541-313-4888.