St. James Thrift Shop – A Treasure Trove for Bargain Seekers

A rack with finds at the St. James Thrift Shop

Due to the upheavals of the 2020 pandemic, many stores were forced to shut down. However, as 2022 approaches and the vaccine rollout continues, the once empty streets are starting to come back to life. The previously closed stores are now open and back in business, nonetheless prices nowadays can be quite steep. Fortunately, if you are looking for more reasonable deals, the St. James thrift shop otherwise known as “il mercatino alla Chiesa Americana” is opening its doors this Wednesday, September 29, after being closed for 17 months.

The store opens at 9:30 am and lasts until 11:30 am; it is situated in the undercroft of St. James “American” Church, which is located on Via Bernardo Rucellai, 9.  Numbered tickets will be available at the door from 8:30 am until closing time on the day of. In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, customers must wear a mask and maintain a social distance of two meters (six and a half ft.) at all times. Due to the limited number of occupants allowed in the store, people are not allowed to enter together, rather they will be admitted by their numerical ticket. Each shopper has a limit of 20-25 minutes in the store, nevertheless, customers are able to return for a second round of shopping. Restrooms and changing rooms will not be open to the public, thus clothes cannot be tried on. Furthermore, visitors upon arrival will have their temperatures and green passes checked, and their names and phone numbers will be written down before they are able to enter.

Due to Covid concerns, there are more rules to abide by; however, they should not deter you from enjoying shopping for finds.  The store is filled with affordable pieces in excellent condition ranging for shoppers of  all shapes and sizes. The sale does not only include clothing, there is an array of other items, such as footwear, household linens, toys, purses and bags, in addition to the occasional baby necessities such as high chairs.

Prices for items range from 0.50 cents to €3 or €4, however most of the items available will cost between €1 or €2. There is also “the boutique,” which is a separate area within the shop that includes designer items — clothing, shoes, silk scarves, bags and purses, bed and household linens — that are set at a higher, yet still reasonable cost.

The best part of the St. James Thrift Shop is the shoppers’ ability to give back to their community. Apart from the fact that it provides a sustainable approach to fashion, the proceeds from the sale go to the Mother Teresa nuns, the St. James Food Bank and Church. Any unsold articles from the general sale are redistributed, free of charge, to the Food Bank for people in need; while unsold articles from the boutique section can be found marked down even further in the general area the following sale.

Customers are able to donate as well as shop; items can be dropped off at St. James Monday through Friday, anytime between 9 am and 1 pm. The Thrift Shop is open the last Wednesday of every month, with the occasional exception during the holiday season. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity, come by the St. James church this Wednesday, September 29!  (cheyenne galloway)