Be cool, Macklemore — You’ll still have a thrift shop on Broadway. CHS has learned Lifelong Thrift will take over the space slated to be left empty by Red Light Vintage’s exit from Broadway early next year.
“We are so excited about this move and what it means for the community,” said Tamara Asakawa, Lifelong Thrift’s executive director in a statement planned to be sent to media Wednesday afternoon. “We will now have so much more room to sell which will allow us to help more people. And that’s an amazing thing.”
At 12,500 square feet, the new Lifelong Thrift will be almost three times the size of the current E Union location.
Last month, CHS reported that the prospect of higher rent combined with lower than needed sales was forcing the ownership of Red Light, acknowledged as the Hill’s oldest vintage clothing store, and its neighbor sibling Aprie boutique to leave Broadway.
In addition to restoring thrift retail’s place on Broadway, the Lifelong news should help quell ongoing worries about the stretch of businesses where the Broadway Grill remains shuttered and Julia’s faced the prospect of being the only active concern on the block.
In addition to vintage and thrift clothing, Lifelong’s new space will allow for more room for furniture, household goods, “and the popular boutique section that carries more high-end designer apparel.” Plans are also underway to offer a donation pick-up service when the new location opens in early 2015.
The change continues an evolution for Lifelong as it has shifted its operations to E Pike as part of a new complex of LGBTQ-friendly-est health and culture facilities including the new Out of the Closet Thrift and AHF Pharmacy. The new Broadway store also reinvigorates its retail wing after the arrival of Goodwill on Capitol Hill this spring.
Lifelong Thrift sales “benefit Lifelong’s work delivering services to people living with chronic illnesses, including HIV/AIDS,” according to the nonprofit. In addition to its retail activities, Lifelong Thrift offers a voucher program to HIV positive people for “basic living essentials,” like warm coats, dishes, and clothes.
The current shop location on E Union has been open for 13 years but Lifelong has been doing thrift on Capitol Hill since the 1980s. It will say goodbye to E Union with an opportunity for you to donate — and get a deal when the new Broadway store opens:
The thrift store is holding a donation drive from December 15th – December 31st. Donate one bag of gently used clothing or household goods and receive a coupon for 25% off a single item good for the opening week at the new location. Donations may be dropped off during regular business hours at their current location at 1017 E Union Street
There is no date set yet for the re-opening of the shop but we’re told it won’t come too late in the new year. In the meantime, Red Light and Aprie continue their closing sales but have not yet announced plans for the final day of business. Red Light management said the shop may seek another Capitol Hill location.
Thanks for the tip, Joseph