I am so glad I discovered thrift stores many years ago when learning to live on a new teacher’s salary. Even though I could now afford an occasional trip to the “nicer” stores to purchase new clothes, I still love the thrill of entering a bargain clothing store and finding treasures for much less than I would spend elsewhere.
There are three shops in the Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana area that I frequent. Not only are these stores happy places for spendthrifts. They also provide shoppers with nice displays, friendly workers and interesting clothing choices.
Goodwill Industries (hhttp://www.goodwillnla.org/stores.html) has locations in Shreveport and Bossier City. The newest store is on Airline Drive in Bossier and is housed in a huge new construction. Grand opening day last year rivaled any upscale store in town. There is ample parking in front and back. The racks are comfortably spaced so that you can easily maneuver your shopping buggy around. In the front of the store are racks of NWT (new with tags) clothes, many with recognizable brand names. I can even entice my college-aged daughter to bring her friends along when I make a trip to this Goodwill; in fact, they seem to be able to find the trendiest clothes hiding out in all those racks. Prices start at about $6.99 for a simple woven short-sleeved shirt and go up from there according to the brand and purpose of the garment. (Formal dresses naturally cost more than t-shirts.) Most of the floor space is taken up with clothing, but there are also shelves filled with shoes, books and household items. This particular Goodwill store location always has some nice furniture pieces such as bed headboards and desks.
New to You Boutique(http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3715258126/new-to-you-boutique-inc-shreveport), located on King’s Highway in Shreveport, is the place to go for more upscale used clothing. Prices are higher than Goodwill, but the owners are more discriminating as to what they accept in the store. Items are sold on consignment, and anything considered dated or less than pristine is refused. Besides clothes, New to You also sells handbags, shoes and jewelry. There is a large selection of formal wear including bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. One section of the store is reserved for career wear. You can get on their email list to receive notices about discounts.
One of the smallest thrift shops in the Shreveport/Bossier City area is The Encore Shop ( http://www.superpages.com/bp/ShreveportLA/EncoreShopL0114853954.htm#BPreviewContainer). It is located across the street from Centenary College and is housed in a modest former private residence. Selection is limited, but I always find a good bargain in this consignment store. Clothing is arranged according to size, which makes shopping easy. There always seems to be an abundance of shoes-casual and dressy. A few purses and jewelry selections can be found also, along with a couple of shelves of books and a small side room full of household items. The vintage rack holds fun surprises, and the formal area usually has a small but nice selection. There are only two dressing rooms, and they are tiny, so you have to step out into the store to get your shopping buddy’s opinion about your outfit. An added bonus of frequenting this little shop is that the profits earned in The Encore Shop help support the Shreveport Symphony Youth Orchestra and other orchestra projects.
Locals and out-of-towners can enjoy a day of thrift shopping at any or all of these three stores In northwest Louisiana. Dress in easy to remove separates and comfortable shoes, and be prepared to find some great bargains to add to your closet for not much cash.