Over the weekend, I decided to take a trip to a thrift store that I can never seem to make it to, The Family Thrift Center on Midlothian Turnpike of Richmond’s Southside. This store is located on what I can only describe as the worst streets on Southside, due to all the construction that is currently going on. I hardly ever go down this street, but when I do, I always see the Family Thrift Center’s parking lot packed with people who are shopping. I always tell myself, I’m going to stop by one of these days, but between the awful road conditions and my busy schedule it never happened. Not until Saturday afternoon did I make the trip, and it was well worth the wait… well sort of.
I definitely liked the selection and the prices (the only reason why it would be packed), although some of the prices were a bit higher than other traditional thrift stores. You could tell that someone who worked here is the designated fashion professional because everything that “appeared” trendy was priced way higher than everything else was. The clothes ranged from some up-to-date items to a section full of vintage. They have a huge coat and blazer section for both the women and men. The shoes left a little to be desired, even though I found one pair that I damn near had to wrestle to get. They have a plethora of purses in various styles that I think needs to be shopped immediately. I have enough purses, so I wasn’t in love with anything but one. However, I know some of you may love the options available. The clothes were in great condition and there were so many. I knew as soon as I seen the options, that this is where most of Southside thrifting is done.
They have a section in the back that is considered boutique. Let’s just say a lot of that stuff could move on up to the front of the store with the rest of it, because it didn’t appear to be of boutique quality. The whole section looks a mess and severely overpriced, but I understand that you have to mark up some nicer things every now and then. I just wish that it wasn’t so much back there, and then you could see what you want. It’s so piled on top of each other; you’re just standing there staring at a pile of junk rather than shopping.
The customer service was null and void. I asked two sales associates for assistance, both of them told me to go ask the other. Are you serious? No one was really friendly or personable while I shopped. I heard someone cursing under their breath about people making a mess and dropping clothes. It was so loud that I turned around thinking it was another customer, but it was not. When I got to the register, I decided to ask the cashier a question about the store. The question was, “What are your slowest days of the week?” She laughed and said, “We don’t have those. I’ve been here three years and have never seen a slow day unless we were closed.” Just like that, I knew that I probably won’t come here often, but I would be back. I can’t stand a lot of craziness while I’m shopping.
Overall, Family Thrift Center is always crowded with so many people shopping; you probably won’t receive great service from the sales associates. People are on top of each other looking for great finds and trying to snatch a bargain. I wouldn’t bring kids with me, unless they were strapped down to a stroller. There is so much pushing, shoving, bumping, and tripping all over the place, it was insane. As I mentioned before, I can’t function like that when I’m spending money. It is not the service that brings the crowd, but the stuff that makes them return. I have to have an equal amount of both, though. Therefore, I could only recommend that you strap up before you go. Just joking… I think. I do recommend this spot but at your own discretion, it’ll grow on you eventually.
Family Thrift Center
5432 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, Virginia 23225
Pros: Selection, Price, Cleanliness
Cons: Location, Crowded, Customer Service
GaptoothDiva Thrift Haul – Family Thrift Center Fall 2012
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- I Will Not Shop at a Thrift Store (happilyblended.com)
- An Introduction to Thrifting (pennywisepoundfaithful.com)
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