Customer Spotlight - Restoration Thrift
Customer Spotlight
Customer Spotlight

Great Tips from Successful Retailers

I opened Restoration Thrift in January 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. I hold a M.A. in Nonprofit Management from the University of Georgia. I have spent 14 years serving the 8th and 9th wards of New Orleans. I was a catalyst in helping establish the St. Roch Community Church and was then ordained as Deacon. I also serve as Executive Director of the St. Roch CDC, a Christian organization which seeks to empower individuals and revitalize under-resourced New Orleans Communities by offering programs and services to help meet the physical, spiritual, economic and cultural needs of individuals and families. Restoration Thrift was opened after I saw a report from the city of New Orleans indicating that 52% of working age African- American men in New Orleans are not working. The resources generated from Restoration Thrift helps the St. Roch CDC providing job training, financial literacy and small business development training to fulfill our vision to see individuals empowered to change their lives, families and community. Our mission is to serve as a catalyst to help lift people out of material and asset poverty and holistically restore our community.

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SSS: When did you know your store would be successful?

RT: From the very beginning we knew we would be successful when we had such enormous support from the community. Dozens of volunteers helped us get our store ready and every item in our store was donated. Once we opened our website our online reviews and comments were glowing.

SSS: What are your biggest reoccurring challenges you encounter in your store?

RT: We are always in need of quality furniture and household items but our biggest challenge has been the construction of a new street car line in front of our store that started the 2nd month we were in business. We can’t wait for this September, when the construction will be complete. We believe it will be a big boost for our sales.

SSS: What is the long term vision for your store?

RT: I want to open three more stores locally to help others in similar communities get on their feet. I would love to take this nationally and work with others opening up thrift stores in their communities.

SSS: What type of marketing works best for you?

RT: Word of mouth, Social Media and Email Marketing are great marketing tools for us. To keep the customers coming back we have a Loyalty Program, for every dollar the customer spends they get a point and for every 100 points they receive a $5 reward to be used on their next visit.

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SSS: What unique things do you do to keep customer’s happy?

RT: Our thrift store is highly organized, always smells good, and we provide high-end customer service.

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SSS: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since launching your business?

RT: We’ve learned how to politely say no to certain donations which are ultimately not sellable or recyclable. We’ve also learn to listen to our customers, reconginizing that we have over or under-priced our merchandise.

SSS: What is your favorite product(s) from Specialty Store Services? How do you use them?

RT: The tagging guns and label guns are the most helpful to us. We rotate our inventory every two weeks and use a color coded system to help us know what to mark down.

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Restoration Thrift is located at
2025 St. Claude Avenue (at Frenchmen Street)
New Orleans, LA 70116

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