Goodwill Changing Minds, Changing Prices

What: Recessionistas want deals on designer duds they can brag about, because it’s no longer “in” to overpay for a Prada handbag. Nor is it affordable. Enter Goodwill. The non-profit chain, which has been a reliable treasure trove for many of us over the years, has lots of leverage right now. And it’s new target consumer is you, bargain hunting stylistas. Taking a few hints from Victoria’s Secret, Saks, and other high-end retailers, Goodwill has been slowly introducing designer boutiques into the country, in an effort to appeal to more upper-class patrons. Along with that, the organization’s started blogging, tweeting, and generally plugging in to communities like this one.

From the New York Times:

Across the country, Goodwill is competing for shoppers with a keener eye and sometimes deeper pockets. A few stores are adjusting prices accordingly. The many who think of the brand as a graveyard for no-name castoffs would be surprised — or dismayed — to find a Prada bag marked at $200 and climbing at auction on a Goodwill Web site, or a Pucci shirt for $800.

What We Say: We can’t get on Goodwill’s case for “recession profiteering,” but we have to wonder if this will benefit us in the long run. Instead of discovering a couture dress on our own, Goodwill will slap it up on a mannequin and put a high price tag on it. Where’s the fun in that? Kudos to Goodwill for getting business-savvy, but we’re on the fence about this new makeover. Also, Goodwill has been a reliable source of apparel for people who previously couldn’t afford to shop at department stores. What’s going to happen to the people who have to shop at Goodwill, when those who choose to shop there take over?

What do you think, is this move for better or worse?