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Salvation Army store has back to school sales bump

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It may not be a name-brand, big-box retailer or a mall icon enjoying its annual back to school bump in clothing sales.

Yet the Ogdensburg Salvation Army’s Seek-n-Find thrift store at 727 State St. experiences its own spurt in sales of used and donated clothing for its customers as the new school year approaches. In a tough economy, store manager Joanne Clouthier said, there is no decrease in the store’s customer traffic flow during the traditional August back-to-school shopping period.

But there is an urgency.

“People are struggling right now,” she said.

Ms. Clouthier said that children up to age 13 make up most of the Seek-n-Find store’s customers, and their needs are usually pants and shirts.

Clothing prices at the store start at $3 and, by and large, don’t rise too high into the double digits.

“There’s nothing in that store that costs than $20,” said Salvation Army Capt. Timothy A. Shaffer.

The hard economy of suddenly single income families and joblessness also means that more and more Seek-n-Find store customers are newcomers.

“We’re getting quite a few families coming in for the first time,” Ms. Clouthier said. “And we have our regulars, too.”

Mr. Shaffer also said that more Canadians are shopping at the Seek-n-Find store here in order to avoid paying the higher sales taxes at home.

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