The Shift to Shop Thrift - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Shift to Shop Thrift

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - With a tighter economy people are making big changes in their buying habits and switching to thrift stores.

Columbia industries management are seeing an increase in customers lately, new teenage customers even.  They credit this to higher price tags in clothing stores, saying they're pushing people to be more frugal and spend less.  But apart from economic challenges, throughout the country it's becoming cool to be frugal.

"You get those teenagers coming in and they're finding that old 1970's caddy shack jacket or whatever it may be, so it's just great.  They come in and they find that stuff ... we've got new brand items, but we also get some of that old plaid 70's stuff so if you're looking for that you can find it here," said Business Development Director for Columbia Industries Jeff Thompson.

Analysts say the feeling now is that it's hipper to save money on a shirt than to spend the most money on something.  

Jobs for teens are also less plentiful, and parents who supply the allowances are feeling the economic pinch themselves.