Iconic Durham thrift store reopens with new mission

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- For more than 50 years the Nearly New Thrift Shoppe in Durham was known not only for its bargain finds but for supporting scholarships for students at Duke's Medical School.

Sadly the shop closed permanently during the pandemic.

It was a major blow to Stacey McCorison who works at Duke and also played a role at the thrift store for 25 years.

"It was my passion to see the nearly new open again," she told ABC 11.

In June of last year, she was at a meeting at her church when the subject came up.

"One evening at our Bible study, a group of us were talking about this, and we have a couple of entrepreneurs in our group, and they say well why don't we just continue it? And my heart started beating double," McCorison said.

Six months later, after getting permission from the Duke group to pursue a new store, the New Nearly New Thrift Shop was up and running much to the delight of customers like Gladys Foster-Young.

Foster-Young who was shopping in the store said, "It's things that are very affordable prices."

And during the pandemic finding bargain prices on nice gently used items can really help she noted saying, "With the economy, it saves tons of money that you probably don't have, that I don't have."

Foster-Young was especially excited in the shoe department trying one on and asking a friend, "It looks nice?"

McCorison says the shop is known for its selection of high-end shoes.

People often donate high-end designer clothing as well including suits and professional work clothes.

Those are popular right now with people laid off during the pandemic and now searching for jobs.

"We have filled a need for people that may not have a lot of discretionary funds right now," McCorison said.

But that's not only the only way the store gives back to the community. Its main mission is to help other charities according to McCorison who said, "For each item that we sell our goal is to give one away."

And when she says 'give one away' she means donating a similar item to charity partners who distribute those items directly to the needy for free.

The shop has all kinds of specials and discounts.

And for many, like Foster-Young, it's easy to find since it's now located in the old Salvation Army store.

She was finding bargains all over the store.

"My basket is not quite full right now, but I'm sure by the time I go out the door, it will be. And I will be back, I will be back," she said.

McCorison, her fellow thrift shop board members, staff, and volunteers hope many others will also become regular customers allowing the New Nearly New Thrift Shop to give back for years to come.
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