There are at least seven thrift stores within a five-mile radius on Route 1 along the Dewey-Rehoboth-Lewes highway, and everyone asks the same thing: Why so many?
Paulette Rappa, one of the owners of the newest thrift store, Unfinished Business, said, “It’s a growing trend throughout the country to reuse, recycle and find a bargain. Thrifting has become a way of life for so many consumers because it’s a feel-good way to shop." Most of the local thrift stores donate their proceeds back into the community, and Unfinished Business follows that trend. According to Rappa, 85 percent of the profits from Unfinished Business are donated to nonprofit organizations that support equality. “Our first associate,” said Rappa, “is CAMP Rehoboth."
Visitors and customers alike browse all the local thrift stores looking for treasures. Favorite stores are determined individually, but generally, those who thrift hit all the local stores. “We have a number of return customers,” said Rappa. “They come once and then they come again and again. Sometimes they buy a spoon, and sometimes they buy a couch.” Surprisingly, young people thrift in large numbers. They usually hunt for those special pieces that make their living space unusual. Seniors thrift, too.
In fact, Rappa said, “Every segment of our community thrifts for treasures and bargains. That’s one of the reasons there are so many stores. Since there are no malls in the area, we have found that friends and family go thrifting, hang out, try on clothes, eat lunch, do lots of laughing and generally spend time together."
Unfinished Business’ inventory changes constantly, and Rappa suspects the other thrift stores are the same. “You never know what is going to come through the door. A few weeks ago, in the course of hours, we received a motorized wheelchair, a bike, a couch and bags of men’s clothes. “
Unfinished Business printed maps of all local thrift stores and in a few short weeks, they had been distributed to almost 1,000 people. They are now in their second printing, about to go into their third. To get a map, go to Unfinished Business, behind Panera Bread on Route 1, next to Accents Fashion Jewelry. It is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Like on Facebook, visit www.lpunfinishedbusiness.org or call 302-752-6225.