Lake Zurich’s new thrift store meets many needs
Lake Zurich resident Kevin Powers stocks a wall with toys while working Friday at Savers, a new thrift store in Lake Zurich. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:22AM
LAKE ZURICH — Though some may be turned off by the idea of purchasing second-hand items, Lake Zurich’s new Savers store maintains that it isn’t like any other thrift store.
Savers, which opened one month ago on Rand Road, boasts the very qualities it promotes on its website: Department-store-like environment, neatly organized shelves and racks, and easy navigation.
The cliche that “one’s trash is another’s treasure” rings true for those donating and shopping. Savers calls it “The Savers Cycle.”
“I’ve gotten to know people here that I see every day,” said Adam Gage, the Lake Zurich location’s store manager.
On Thursday, Crystal Lake resident Laurie Francis pushed around a cart stacked high with pants, shirts and more.
“I’m shopping for my sister’s birthday and for other people that send me out to shop — so I have about seven sizes to look for,” Francis said, laughing.
Lake Zurich residents Anna Doniek and Maggie Laba were both shopping at the store for the second time Thursday morning.
“I’m here to look for work clothes and winter jackets,” Doniek said. “The prices are great.”
Gage explained that Savers – like many other thrift stores – supports secondary markets, like individuals running their own online merchandise businesses, collectors or wholesalers in third-world countries.
Donations that don’t sell for an extended period of time are shipped to developing nations through a combination of wholesale and philanthropic efforts, helping to support those areas create marketplaces selling quality and affordable merchandise.
“Everyone’s got their own reason for coming here,” Gage added. “We’ll have people come in that are looking for high fashion items that have slipped through, looking to build a look, and they are able to do that here and cover a lot of different ground,”
Gage, who was one of the original managers hired when Savers began catering to the Chicago area market, reported that the Lake Zurich location employs about 35 full-time workers with benefits.
“It’s hard for some people to wrap their heads around,” Gage said. “Every day, we put about (6,000) to 7,000 new items on the floor.”
Those who aren’t interested in thrift store shopping also have a reason to walk through Savers’ front doors, as they can donate an assortment of items that ultimately support many causes.
Once donations are deemed acceptable, Savers pays their weight’s worth to the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago.
Since opening about 60 years ago, Savers has been a privately held thrift store chain that has expanded to about 300 stores operating in the United States, Canada and Australia. The company began to open locations in the Chicago market about two years ago.
To learn more about the store, visit www.savers.com.