Thrift for Kids Thrift Shop is one of 18 second-hand stores in the municipality.

Put a cap on thrift shops in downtown Langley, says business association

With 16 second-hand stores in the downtown core, some are saying enough is enough

Like an overplayed Macklemore song, the Downtown Langley Business Association says it has too much of a good thing and wants the City to put a cap on the number of thrift shops.

A letter from the organization’s executive director, Teri James, was received by council on Monday.

Related story: Langley City: the place to thrift

“We recognize that there is a place for thrift stores in every community, but like everything else, if there are too many, this is cause for concern with respect to public perception, and for those anchor businesses that don’t necessarily want their business located in what is fast becoming known as a ‘thrift store downtown,'” the letter reads.

There are currently 16 stores in the downtown that fall under the same category as thrift stores  (including second-hand furniture stores, pawn shops and Value Village).

The letter also raises concerns about donation bins found around town.

James said she wants to see an all-out ban the bins because they attract garbage around them.

She believes that 90 per cent of people use the bins to donate gently used goods for good causes but the remaining 10 per cent ruin them for everyone

“[They] drop off their mattresses and their broken barbecue and all the rest of it because it seems like a convenient place to drop it,” said James.

Diane Thornton, the president of the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, said Penny Pincher Thrift Shop is among her organization’s top five donors and she anticipates it contributing $500,000 to the hospital this year.

“I think [thrift shops] are saturating the market, but who am I to say there’s too many?” she said, adding that she feels most of the shops support good causes.

Gerald Minchuk, the City’s director of development services and economic development, said he and other staff would be looking at the issue, now that they have received James’s letter. He said a number of options could be brought to council for approval but stressed the need for consideration and that the letter had only just been received.

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