While the dogs and cats of the Central Arizona Humane Society don’t buy sweaters or pants from the Humane Society Thrift Store, they are common visitors at the Main Street shop, bringing in visitors and driving up sales with their lovable faces and tricks.
On any given day there is at least one dog roaming the aisles of the 1,200-square-foot store at 404 W. Main St. Dogs nuzzle buyers with their noses or sniff their pockets for treats, and if a dog is ambitious, it will even do a trick for a biscuit.
Luckily, shoppers enjoy the tricks and the shop and have made the store a huge success, said Penny McKinlock, general manager.
Since the thrift store opened in early August, all proceeds from the store have gone toward running the humane society’s shelter, located at 812 S. McLane Road.
Since McKinlock is the only paid employee, expenses are kept low with a volunteer staff of six.
McKinlock explained the humane society decided to open the thrift store on the heels of the annual rummage sale it holds in the parking lot of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church.
Since the rummage sale was always a tremendous success and there was a surplus of items left over, McKinlock and volunteer Rick Landshut knew they could collect enough items to open a store permanently.
When McKinlock saw the “For Rent” sign in the former location of Re-Runs Resale Boutique, she knew it was the perfect space. McKinlock got more good news when the property owner donated the first two months of rent.
Since moving in and setting up shop, business has been steady and is growing.
“We get constant donations,” she said. “We don’t do so much collecting now.”
The thrift store sells an eclectic mix of used clothing, jewelry, furniture and accessories.
With new items coming in all the time, McKinlock keeps prices low to move product out the door quickly.
“We don’t have the room to keep it,” she said. “Some customers come back two to three times in a day because they know I am constantly stocking.”
For McKinlock, running a thrift store for the humane society is a win-win situation.
“It is a combination of my passions,” she said, “yard sales and animals. It is the best job I ever had.”
The thrift store is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.