Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Charity Shops, Down and Dirty

Was royally entertained by last night's second episode of Mary Queen of Charity Shops--in which retail guru Mary Portas takes on the herculean task of bringing a traditional British charity shop/thrift store some leagues closer to the merchandising cutting edge.

Having some experience in this sort of thing, I found it to be all that and more. The real stars of the show are the volunteers, mostly ladies of distinguished age who just don't get the point of spending on new flooring and maverick pegboard-and-elastic- band display fittings when the mouldy old fixtures had a mere 20 years of service and are surely good for another twenty more.

My favourite quote: when one volunteer objects to an orange display unit as "too bright", especially when holding a pink handbag, an exasperated Mary loses it and counters with: "FANTASTIC! Look at the colors that Saint Laurent uses! Pink, orange, turquoise . . . the luxury houses of Paris, yet it doesn't fit in Orpington!!"

Which Orpington will no doubt NEVER forget . . . this is reality programming at its best: well-intentioned people who are deservedly proprietary about their turf and experience ramming into each other head on. Go Mary! Go old-age-pensioners! May the stubbornest woman win (it will be close)!

And if you love thrift stores/charity shops like I do, go immediately to the link above. The lovely BBC is streaming entire episodes online.

1 comment:

  1. Hi again!
    I just thought I really had to tell you about my best find in a charity shop in my small hometown, thogh it's not as advanced as yours. Last week I saw a pair of blue heels at Erikshjälpen. I approached, recognized them to be my size, had a look at the price-tag (5 pounds something). Suddenly I realized I was holding a pair of unused, perfect Burberry shoes and I was trembling as I turned to the counter.
    Mabye I should watch that BBC-series...
    Thankyou for a really nice blog:) I'll be around