FARGO – A new thrift store is now welcoming shoppers to South Fargo.
opened its second Fargo thrift store on Monday, May 30 at 5556 51st Ave. S. Tom O’Keefe, director of operations for the New Life Center, said the store checks in at nearly 16,000 square feet, quadrupling the size of their northern Fargo store at 221 19th St. N.
The journey to opening the subway’s newest thrift store began five years ago, O’Keefe said, when the New Life Center’s first store moved out of the mission shelter.
This store eventually began to bring greater financial resources to the charity, which meant it was time to expand. “As the store started to be more profitable, providing more resources for the mission, we realized the opportunity was there to have a bigger thrift store,” O’Keefe said.
Moving to the south side of Fargo has always been the goal. “It’s just a good business decision to be in the south where there are more families and more opportunities to increase clientele,” he added. “Being on the south end is just a dream come true for us.”
The new store primarily sells clothing, but it also offers homewares, trinkets, photography, sporting goods and shoes. O’Keefe urged residents to consider donating in these categories and called the initial donations for the store “fantastic.”
Being located just off the busy 52nd Ave. S. has also been a major plus for the store. O’Keefe credited the busy road with helping to make Opening Day a success. “The traffic is so good. We had a great opening day. It exceeded my expectations by about three times,” he said. “It’s been wonderful. I think it will just be a great partnership with us and the community.
‘An excellent opportunity’
In addition to helping fund New Life Center’s goals of lifting people out of homelessness, the thrift stores also offer residents a chance to interact with the mission.
For most, thrift stores are the first way to encounter the New Life Center. That’s why O’Keefe said they’re always looking for volunteers to help run the stores. “It’s a great opportunity for people to volunteer,” he says.
Volunteers range from high school students to seniors, which O’Keefe says offers people the opportunity to do good in the community across generations.
The thrift store also helps those in need by providing professional coaching and rehabilitation to those in need. “Some of them haven’t had a job or don’t know how to get one,” O’Keefe said. “It’s just an opportunity for us to teach them how to go out and be productive in society.”
For that, O’Keefe said they look to their
, which is dedicated to the treatment of drug addiction and alcoholism. “They work in the store side-by-side with our volunteers and employees to help us further the store’s mission and help them further their life’s mission,” he commented.
Savings has become increasingly popular in recent years.
the used market was valued at $35 billion in 2021. ThredUp predicts the market will more than double in size and value by 2026, reaching $82 billion.
O’Keefe said the shift to saving was driven by millennials. “Saving is so popular now,” he said.
The New Life Center has been happy to benefit from the trend, O’Keefe said, as government funding has continued to decline in recent years. “We just knew we had to diversify our sources of income,” he noted.
According to ThredUp’s report, the top three reasons to buy second-hand are to save money, offer premium brands, and find unique items.
In this case, think of O’Keefe as a steward. “I’ve never dressed so well in my life,” he laughed.
WHAT: Thrift store New Life Center
WHERE: 5556 51st Ave S.
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday