Savers/Value Village Thrift Stores Celebrate Fifty Years of
the Ultimate Treasure Hunt
Unique “everyone wins” business model puts charities, employees
and the environment first, when it comes to second-hand
BELLEVUE, WASH. Bargain hunting turns 50 this year, as international thrift store chain Savers, Inc., also operating as Value Village in the Pacific Northwest and Canada and Village des Valeurs in Quebec, celebrates five decades of frugal fashions and second-hand stuff.
Expanding from a single store in 1954, the privately held Bellevue, Wash.-based company, formerly known as TVI Inc., currently operates nearly 200 for-profit thrift outlets throughout the United States, Canada and Australia, employing 7,000 associates. Key to Savers’ success is their unique business model which benefits non-profit organizations by purchasing and reselling donated items, allowing customers to enjoy endless shopping adventures in search of hidden treasures. In 2003 alone, Savers sold roughly 136 million recyclable items to more than 29 million customers.
“Our business model has proven successful over the years because everyone wins,” said Tom Ellison, chief executive officer of Savers and son of company founder Bill Ellison. “Savers’ non-profit partners have a sustainable source of funding; we look after the environment by recycling goods; our retail stores provide career tracks and jobs within the community and our customers win because they find amazing bargains on our shelves every day.”