Vintage is in vogue at new-look Vinnies

Nicola Rouleston and Pauline Ackerly cutting the ribbon at the
entry to the New Norfolk Vinnies Superstore.

THE honour of cutting the ribbon at the official opening of the new Vinnies Superstore in New Norfolk went to the St Vincent de Paul Society’s long-serving local manager Pauline Ackerly.

Mrs Ackerly has given decades of service to the charitable organisation at its previous opportunity shop locations in Burnett St and High St. She shared the ribbon-cutting with the new manager, Nicola Rouleston.

The move to modern premises in the town centre has been in train for many months, well before the recent fire that badly damaged the Burnett St location. With a history of offering support and services to the New Norfolk community for more than 50 years, the St Vincent de Paul Society announced earlier this year that it would relocated its Vinnies charity store from 34B Burnett St to new premises.

Located in the former Video City outlet at 44 High St, the Vinnies Superstore is three times larger than the old shop. The official opening was held on July 25 and proceeds from the store will be used to fund the society’s many outreach and charitable activities within the New Norfolk community and across southern Tasmania.

Earlybird customers were full of praise for the new op-shop, taking to social media to comment on the spacious store and the attractive way the goods had been displayed. “It looks and feels more like a boutique shop than an op shop,” one customer said on Facebook.

St Vincent de Paul Society chief executive Lara Alexander said the new store was packed with a wide range of pre-loved clothing, homewares, manchester, furniture, books, footwear, and accessories. She said the New Norfolk shop was one of the first in southern Tasmania to be either relocated to bigger and better locations, or refurbished to improve the customer experience when they support the St Vincent de Paul Society and its programs.

Inside the Vinnies Superstore.

“At any one time, Vinnies Superstore will stock over 6000 items of clothing alone,” Ms Alexander said. “That’s 6000 pieces of clothing that have been sorted, modestly priced, and prepared for sale. This also represents 6000 pieces of clothing we have diverted from landfill, which helps the environment as well as people and families in need.

“St Vincent de Paul Society’s commitment to new or refurbished stores follows an international trend towards purchasing pre-loved clothing. “According to a 2019 report by GlobalData, there is a world-wide boom in the re-sale apparel and second-hand goods market. The report reveals that the market is currently worth $24 billion per annum; with expected growth to $51 billion by 2024. A staggering 56 million women purchased pre-loved clothing or second-hand products in 2018, an increase of 12 million new consumers over the previous year.

“Researchers found that the re-sale customer is no longer a niche group, it’s everyone; and that 51 per cent of re-sale shoppers plan to spend even more on pre-loved and second-hand goods in the next five years. The increase is, in part, due to Millennials and Gen Z who are 2.5 times more likely to purchase pre-loved items. Vintage is in vogue. These are some of the reasons the society embarked upon a complete overhaul of its retail offering. The added advantage of purchasing from a Vinnies Superstore is that all profits go to a very worthy cause.”

Ms Alexander said a team of volunteers had worked non-stop to bring the new store to life. “The 6000 items across the New Norfolk Vinnies Superstore will give locals and visitors amazing opportunities to pick up a bargain, and dress the whole family from top to toe; knowing their purchase will helps clothe, feed, and provide shelter to those in need,” she said.

The new Vinnies Superstore is located at 44 High St, New Norfolk. It opens from 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday. As well as a much larger showroom, the new premises also offers office space for the society’s welfare services.

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