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More shoppers bargain-hunting for clothes, but spending less (access required)

By Caitlin Coakley CHARLOTTE — If it took the recession for you to discover the fun of thrift shops and consignment stores, you’re in good company. Several secondhand clothing shops in Charlotte have seen more customers in the past year, but not necessarily more sales. “We’re getting customers from all walks of life now, from the bankers to the doctors to the schoolteachers,” said Michele Britt, manager of the Junior League Warehouse on Pecan Avenue. “This economy has hit everyone.” At Goodwill, sales for 2009 were up 3.6 percent over 2008, according to Armando Barragan, communications and promotions manager for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “We’re seeing a lot of new faces in our stores,” he said. “A lot of people are turning to us to stretch the dollar.”

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