Calgary

Alberta second-hand store turns economic blues into green

The owner of a second-hand story in southern Alberta says while many in the province are suffering from the economic downturn, his business has picked up.

'You can find great stuff, the quality a lot of the time is better, it's different'

Owner James Harland says the economic downturn in Alberta has given his High River second-hand store a bump in business. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

The owner of a second-hand store in southern Alberta says while many in the province are suffering from the economic downturn, his business has picked up.

While rooting around for photography props, Cara Rochford says shopping at J and D's Attic in High River is better for her budget.

"You can find great stuff, the quality a lot of the time is better, it's different and you're saving a little bit of money, your money is stretching a little farther," Rochford told CBC News.

Shopper Cara Rochford says a second-hand store is better for her budget. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

And that's money in the bank for owner James Harland.

He moved J and D's Attic from a small space to more than 3,400 square feet about a year ago, just as the provincial economy was in free fall.

"It was quite a leap of faith to go with, let's rent a place, and expand," he said.

James Harland owns a second-hand store in High River and says despite the economic situation in the province, his business is booming. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Harland says he's not really surprised tough times have brought in more business because consumers are looking for alternatives to the big name stores.

"We've had customers that said 'we can't afford those prices, do you have' … and we'll say 'look in the back somewhere on the third aisle,' that's what they'll do," Harland explained.

Jessie Izyk is a regular customer and says she's not surprised by Harland's increase in sales.

Shopper Jessie Izyk says money is tight so sometimes reconditioned goods are the way to go. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

"A lot of people are tight with money, you know money is tight, things are expensive these days so reconditioned things, second-hand things are the way to go for sure."

Business is even strong enough for Harland to add an additional 700 square feet of room to sell more items.

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