Votes are in: Here’s who you chose for the best thrift store in the Charlotte area

·5 min read

The Charlotte Observer asked readers to choose their favorite thrift store in the region. After weeks of casting votes, we finally have a winner.

It makes sense that amid inflation and with prices rising on just about everything, we’re all looking for more ways to save and hunt for bargains. And with Aug. 17 dubbed National Thrift Shop Day, we had asked readers which thrift shops you think are tops for finding the best deals and treasures in the Charlotte region.

We first asked for submissions on Aug. 11 for favorite thrift shops. We started with the top 16 stores on Aug. 17, whittling it down to eight, then four, then the final two. The last round of voting ended at noon Monday.

There were a whopping 469,789 votes cast in the final round of The Charlotte Observer’s 2022 Reader’s Choice contest for best thrift shop. All told, there were 644,234 votes cast. (People were allowed to vote as often as they liked.)

And the winner is: The WearHouse with 62% of the votes at 292,153. The runner-up is: Matthews Help Center & Backporch Treasures Thrift Shop, with 177,636 votes in the final round.

Both stores appealed for support through social media, calls that apparently were answered again and again.

“We’re so thankful to everyone who voted for us. The title of “Best Thrift Store” is an honor we don’t take lightly,” The WearHouse manager Jill Price told The Charlotte Observer in a statement Monday.

Congratulations to all the thrift stores that made our best list. And let’s be honest, thrifting anywhere is fun but knowing your new, old threads support charity work in our community, or just keeping clothes out of landfills, is a win-win all around.

Note: We did not include vintage, consignment and antique stores for this unscientific, fun poll. Here’s more about each organization and what they do:

The WearHouse

The WearHouse thrift store at 127 Stetson Drive in Charlotte is part of Camino, a bilingual and multicultural nonprofit that offers holistic care to the underinsured and uninsured. It also helps families and individuals in crisis, according to The WearHouse.

“By giving back our proceeds to Camino, we directly aid the Latino immigrant community here in Charlotte,” the thrift store states on its website.

“Our mission at The Wearhouse has always been to help families and individuals in crisis,” Price said. “This (reader) recognition will help us further our mission and continue to help as many people as we can.”

Last year, The WearHouse also gave free clothing and goods to 300 people, estimated to be worth $5,500. Jackets, clothing and sleeping bags also were set aside for people who came into the store seeking immediate help.

The WearHouse thrift store at 127 Stetson Drive in Charlotte is part of Camino, a bilingual and multicultural nonprofit.
The WearHouse thrift store at 127 Stetson Drive in Charlotte is part of Camino, a bilingual and multicultural nonprofit.

The thrift store ties into Camino’s mission of “equipping people to live healthy, hopeful, and productive lives,” Price said. “Providing affordable clothes for school, work or everyday life gives people a sense of well-being and preparedness for the day.”

The WearHouse hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

Matthews Backporch Treasures Thrift Shop

Matthews HELP Center & Backporch Treasures Thrift Shop is at 119 N. Ames St., Matthews.

“The cool thing about the Matthews Help Center and our Backporch Treasures Thrift Boutique is that proceeds raised from the sale of treasures donated by the community are then used for our financial assistance programs through the Matthews HELP Center,” Susan Ross, director of development for the center, said in a statement.

The nearly 43-year-old nonprofit provides short-term crisis help to residents in the Matthews community by providing rental and utility assistance to help families avoid eviction.

“There are a lot of families that are struggling right now,” she said. “Every single dollar that we raise goes back to serve our community.”

Ross said the response from The Observer’s contest has been overwhelming, driving more traffic to the store.

Matthews HELP Center & Backporch Treasures Thrift Shop at 119 N. Ames St., Matthews.
Matthews HELP Center & Backporch Treasures Thrift Shop at 119 N. Ames St., Matthews.

“It’s been fun and it’s been crazy,” she said. “I’m shocked and amazed at the number of people who have responded. We’re so grateful. This will help us build awareness of our mission to serve the community.”

Store hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Donations are accepted 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Hours change in the fall to 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The other thrift stores picked by readers

Here are the other 14 thrift stores readers chose for our best-of contest:

Assistance League of Charlotte: moving from South Tryon Street to 5426 Old Pineville Road, Charlotte;

Church Mouse Kit-N-Kaboodle Resale Store: 9010-D Monroe Road, Charlotte;

Community Thrift Store: 3016 Freedom Dr, Charlotte,

CVAN’s Cool Used Stuff: 543 Concord Pkwy. N., Concord;

East Lincoln Christian Ministries: 4278 Catawba Burris Road;

Goodwill - Weddington: 2515 Plantation Center Drive, Matthews;

GW Boutique: A Goodwill store, 3609 South Blvd., Charlotte;

Pawsibilities Humane Society of York County: 2144 Carolina Place, Fort Mill, S.C.;

The Salvation Army Thrift Store & Donation Center: 2145 Central Ave., Charlotte;

Second Chance Boutique by Turning Point: 2447 Old Charlotte Hwy., Monroe;

Servant’s Heart Community Boutique: N 9229, Lawyers Road, Mint Hill;

Sweet Repeat Thrift Store: 4082 Charlotte Hwy., Lake Wylie, S.C.;

Value Village: 6300 South Blvd., Charlotte, 4451 Central Ave., Charlotte, 912 S Cannon Blvd., Kannapolis;

Zabs Place: 100 North Trade Street, Matthews;