Thursday, February 12, 2015

Half Empty?

I had a few minutes to kill yesterday morning, and I remembered a recent Tweet from one of my co-workers.  During a recent story on Goodwill stores selling items on line, he snapped a photo of a WNEP 50th anniversary cap, plus a cap with an old California Angels logo.

I have way too many baseball caps, and I'm still drawn to odd and unusual ones.  The Angels cap had a lower case "a" with a halo above it, a rare find.

While I was waiting for my tax guy to arrive at his office several blocks away, I stopped at the Scranton Keyser Oak Center Goodwill store to see if the cap was still around.  It wasn't.  I should have jumped right after I saw the Tweet a couple of weeks ago.

That's not what today's blog is about.

I noticed the Goodwill store was filled with merchandise.  It made me happy.  It showed people are donating, and that's always a good thing.

I also noticed the store was packed with shoppers, and this was 10:30 AM on a Wednesday morning.

What does this tell us?

Let's start with the positive.  People are buying at Goodwill stores, meaning the organization has more money to provide services to its clients.

And, now the troubling.  Were so many people shopping here because they can't afford to go elsewhere?

As I've said in this space before, forget what the experts and the chamber of commerce types tell you.  The economy is still struggling, and there are a lot of people having trouble making ends meet.  Spend a day with a news reporter to get a feel for what it's really like out there.

As I have also said in this space, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.  I'm sure some of the Goodwill customers were there to simply look for a bargain.  For others, second-hand was the best they could do.