Why NJ thrift, consignment shops should thank Netflix
A popular program on Netflix encourages and teaches folks how to "tidy up" their lives by eliminating clutter, but it's second-hand shops in New Jersey that may be benefiting most.
"We see an influx of donations until January 1st — people want that last-minute tax deducition — then we usually see donations drop dramatically. And that didn't happen this year," said Juli Lundberg, director of corporate communications for the Goodwill of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Since the Jan. 1 Netflix debut of "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo," featuring the Japanese organization guru, Goodwill's dozens of donation sites in the South Jersey area have brought in significantly more donations than in past years. For the month of January, Lundberg said, donations were up 23 percent compared to the year prior. Compared to the same months in 2018, donations were up 15 percent in both February and March of this year.
"We do pretty much attribute it to the Kondo effect because it's something we haven't seen in the past, and it's something that Goodwills across the country also experienced," Lundberg said. "Everybody's up for donations this year, which is fantastic."
Kondo is also author of the the 2014 book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." In the Netflix series, the woman helps individuals clear their cluttered homes, advising that they should only hold on to items that "spark joy."
"I think it makes people rethink things, how long they've been holding on to items, and finally release them," Lundberg said.
Evidence of the show's influence has been seen at Twice Is Nice in East Hanover, a consignment shop for children's items. Owner Tara Esposito said the program's been mentioned as an "inspiration" by folks who bring in their goods to be sold.
"Especially with children, a lot of gifts that are given are unused. We have a lot of gifts that are unopened, a lot of clothes still with tags," Esposito said.
Bob, senior manager at St. Peter's Thrift Shop in Freehold, said while the shop is always receiving very generous donations, some giving moods have been sparked by the Netflix program that tasks people with determining whether certain items are truly necessary.
"Having an outlet such as ourselves, I think helps them in making that hard decision," Bob said. "Because they know that it's going to a good cause."
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.