Economic troubles mean more business for thrift stores

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - National Surveys indicate second hand stores are getting more business during the economic downturn.

David Robbins owns Nancy's thrift store with his wife Nancy.

"He does the tools basically, you know, and I do the household," Nancy Robbins said.

It is a family affair with a definitive ebb and flow. A second-hand store with increased business because of a slow economy.

"That's all people are talking about. And they'll come here first and see if we've got it before going any place else," Nancy Robbins said.

Business is down, but is picking up.

"But the last thirty days. It's picked up and it's back to normal, right now," David Robbins said.

The Robbins' said they are noticing new customers in need of thrifty alternatives. Still, the store's survival is fragile as glass.

"If it continues, I'll leave here in six months, if that long," David Robbins said.

As a crutch, Nancy's Thrift is changing. Offering credit for the first time ever.

Robbins' said he bargains more and must open seven days a week.

Edgar Broome is a regular. He bought a sombrero and a poster for 8 bucks. But offered perspective for free.

"I have a lawn service and everything I do has something to do with gasoline. So it's questionable as far as next year," Broome said.

Still Robbins said he believes in his heart that the tune will change soon.

"I really think it's gonna be alright," David Robbins said.

The Robbins' store is a for-profit business. Non-profit thrift stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army said their business is just fine.

Click here to e-mail Nick Kenney.