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Opening a New Nonprofit Thrift Store: Performance, Competition, Pricing, and Financial Sustainability


  • Wodon, Divya
  • Wodon, Naina
  • Wodon, Quentin


The thrift store market in the United States is thriving, driven in part by hard economic times but also by changing perceptions and habits. As a result some nonprofits are considering expanding their thrift store operations, often with the hope that earnings from new or expanded thrift stores may help fund other programs for low income individuals and families. Before opening a new thrift store, it is however important to conduct a detailed analysis to assess whether a new store is likely to be successful. Such an analysis should focus among others on likely performance, including versus the competition, the choice of location, and financial sustainability. This paper illustrates how such an analysis can be conducted using program and competitor information as well as a client survey of the current clientele of an existing store. The analysis is carried through a case study of Martha’s Outfitters, the thrift store of Martha’s Table in Washington, DC.

Suggested Citation

  • Wodon, Divya & Wodon, Naina & Wodon, Quentin, 2013. "Opening a New Nonprofit Thrift Store: Performance, Competition, Pricing, and Financial Sustainability," MPRA Paper 56943, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56943

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7634 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wodon, Divya & Wodon, Naina & Wodon, Quentin, 2013. "What Drives Client Satisfaction at Non-profit Thrift Stores?," MPRA Paper 56942, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:jouret:v:86:y:2010:i:4:p:355-371 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Wodon, Divya & Wodon, Naina & Wodon, Quentin, 2013. "Thrift Stores Funding Food Pantries: A Win-Win Strategy for Nonprofits Serving the Poor?," MPRA Paper 56941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item


    Thrift stores; Competitive analysis; Financial sustainability; Client survey;

    JEL classification:

    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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