Issaquah, WA_Sneak Peek_Ken Alterman

Savers CEO, Ken Alterman, at the sneak peek of Issaquah’s new store. Image courtesy of Savers.

Value Village’s slogan is simple, “Good deeds. Great deals.”

While the international thrift store chain is a for-profit business, supporting local nonprofits is at the core of its mission. Savers, the parent company of Value Village that is headquartered in Bellevue, pays its nonprofit partners for donated items whether they’re ever sold or not.

“Simply put, creating social impact is a direct and fundamental result of the way we choose to do business,” said Sara Gaugl, director of communications for Savers in a statement to 425 Business.

The company is opening its 26th Value Village store in Washington this week. The new store will open on Feb. 19 at 5530 East Lake Sammamish Parkway in Issaquah and will benefit  Issaquah Schools Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound.

“The funding we receive from Value Village is a consistent source of revenue and critical to our ability to serve more than 1,000 children annually,” said Amy R. Mack, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound in a statement.

Donations made through Feb. 21 will support the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Basic Student Needs Program which provides students with items, such as breakfast food, dental care, and school supplies, that can improve their leaning experience.

Savers doesn’t benefit the same nonprofits among all its Value Village stores. They spread the love across more than 330 locations in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

“Rather than limit contributions to any one area of need, we’re proud to support hundreds of organizations across the country that create value for a variety of important beneficiary groups, including individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, veterans, and those affected by chronic illness,” Gaugl said.

Savers has a second cause it’s proud of – recycling. Value Village stores keep about 650 million pounds of reusable goods out of landfills each year. Unsold items are either recycled or sent to developing countries.

Savers was started by William O. Ellison in San Francisco in 1954. He moved the company to the Seattle area in the 1970s. His grandfather and great uncle helped develop The Salvation Army. Good deeds and great deals has been a part of the Ellison legacy ever since.


image courtesy of Savers

Regional stats for the greater Seattle area from Value Village’s 2014 thrift survey:

51% of residents say that they prefer a unique item over one that is sold in popular stores

48% of residents say they shop at thrift stores because they can find many different types of items and 26% do it because they can find things that fit their style

81% of residents have been to a thrift store

72% of residents shop at thrift stores because they want to save money