Many retailers in this economy find themselves struggling with sales, but secondhand resale businesses are booming. With that in mind, a Renton man decided to take a gamble and open his own thrift store.
Rick Youngblood opened the R & D thrift shop in Renton.
“I never imagined myself here,” he said. “I imagined myself retiring from the management position where I worked.”
A former Maytag man, Youngblood managed the company`s Southcenter, Bellevue and Lynnwood stores for years.
“They, unfortunately, went out of business,” he said. “They closed all six of their stores, and everybody there lost their jobs.”
Like millions of other Americans, he found himself out of a job. The 62-year-old applied and handed out dozens of resumes.
“The frustration set in for me when I spent months out there, endless months, trying to find a job,” Youngblood said.
One night, he said, “I turned on my TV and they're sitting there talking about how dollar stores are outperforming Wal-Mart. I was sitting there listening to this and then right behind it they started talking about what we needed was possibly more thrift stores, you know, where people could shop and afford to shop. And I’m sitting there thinking, I can do this.”
He pulled out his and his wife's life savings and began looking at storefronts in Renton. The store opened in July.
“We are surviving, we're covering all of our expenses, and we have since day one. And from that aspect I'm grateful,” he said.
Youngblood said through this business he found a way to help himself while also helping so many who may find themselves down on their luck and cannot afford to spend a lot on clothing or other goods.
“There's just something in my heart that says it's the right thing to do,” he said.
America's Research Group says 21 percent of shoppers rely on major department stores while more than 15 percent rely on resale shops.