SOUTHPORT, N.C. – The first CIS Thrift Shop opened ten years ago in Southport. The second CIS Thrift Shop opened later that same year in a Sunset Beach shopping plaza on Chandlers Lane. Today there are four CIS Thrift Shops in Brunswick County, each a strong support to Communities In Schools of Brunswick County’s (CIS) mission to empower students to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS shops also serve as a place for the community to find high quality, name brand merchandise at a fraction of department store prices.
Lorrie Evans, Sunset Beach CIS Thrift Shop Lead Manager, was reminiscing about the last ten years in business serving Sunset Beach and said, “We are proud to have been one of the earliest thrift shops in Sunset Beach area and still strengthening the community and students today.”
The nonprofit thrift shop was one of the earliest in the area for a long time. “We were looking for alternative income source outside of grant funding and after opening our first thrift shop in Southport, we wanted to develop a supportive presence in the southern end of the county,” said Bonnie Jordan, CIS Executive Director. “A past executive director performed extensive research on the thrift shop market, and Sunset Beach was the perfect location, with a need for a shop offering gently used items at greatly reduced prices.” The Sunset Beach CIS Thrift Shop opened October 1, 2009 and only a few years after, other shops and restaurants started opening in the area increasing customers to the shop.
After early years of struggling to become known and recognized as a high quality merchandiser of donated items, the Sunset Beach CIS Thrift Shop has survived and thrived, setting the standard for the nonprofit thrift shop customer experience by offering personalized service, advice, and some of the best customer service experience around.
“Implementing the CIS Thrift Shop model around Brunswick County was a great decision,” said Todd Beane Communications and Thrift Shop Operations Director for CIS. “It’s created a steady income stream to help support our Action for Success dropout prevention programs in Brunswick County Schools.” CIS Thrift Shops became quickly successful and a third shop was opened in Boiling Spring Lakes in 2010.
The three CIS shops grew to be seen as community partners in accepting donated goods and offering excellent quality, name brand merchandise at a reasonable price. Since then, CIS has opened a fourth CIS Thrift Shop location in Leland in July 2016.
The CIS Thrift Shop family has been growing steadily every year. The shops’ popular “Monday Madness Sale,” for example, is a big draw and customers stream into the shops to get the best deals on newly donated items and to take advantage of other weekly sales.
“We want to leave a lasting impression for item donors and shoppers by offering the best thrift shop experience around and have the shops available to the community stocked with high quality merchandise that will also help students stay in school,” Beane said talking about the Sunset Beach CIS Thrift Shop 10-year anniversary.
Since CIS Thrift Shops were started in 2009, much has changed for the nonprofit retail shop. Its selection of merchandise has expanded greatly to include a broad range of clothing styles for men, women and kids along with jewelry, housewares, art work, home decor, books, magazines and comic books, music related items, videos, electronics, tools, furniture, and sporting goods.
The CIS Thrift Shop managers and volunteers get to know their frequent customers personally, often keeping a list of treasured items they are seeking and phoning them when something comes in. Key elements of the CIS Thrift Shop brand remain unchanged and are well known in the community. Over the past decade, CIS has maintained bright, clean, welcoming shops with high quality of merchandise for very affordable prices. CIS Thrift Shops offer customers a boutique style shopping experience unlike the normal thrift shop. Our shops mix colorful displays of clothing with a dash of creativity, pairing outfits and accessories together or showing a sample furniture configuration for customer inspiration.
The CIS brand is stronger than just our merchandise. We offer a chance to contribute to changing a student’s life through donating, purchasing, or even volunteering at a CIS Thrift Shop. CIS is focused on strengthening their retail experience and enabling them to do more to help kids stay in school.
Sunset Beach CIS Thrift Shop’s 10th anniversary celebration is another way of giving back to customers and kicks off Wednesday, October 2 at 10 a.m. with three days of storewide sales! Wednesday, October 2 is 10% off the entire shop, Thursday, October 3 is $10 off any purchase of $50 or more, and Friday, October 4 any customer spending $10 will receive two frequent shopper stamps ($20 purchase gets four stamps) on Customer Loyalty Cards. If you don’t have a CIS Thrift Shop frequent shopper loyalty card, you can pick one up to start collecting your stamps (good at all four CIS Thrift Shop locations). The promotion celebrating 10 years in business will run through Friday, October 4 at 5 p.m.
“We’re excited to continue offering name brand, high quality merchandise and the best customer shopping experience to our patrons. The thrift shops allow Communities In Schools of Brunswick County to help even more students stay in school and be successful,” commented Jordan.
CIS operates four thrift shops in Brunswick County for your donating and shopping convenience. CIS Thrift Shops are located in Boiling Spring Lakes, Leland, Southport, and Sunset Beach with inventory turning over daily. For more information about CIS of Brunswick County, please contact the CIS office at 910-351-8007 or visit www.cisbrunswick.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates.
About Communities In Schools of Brunswick County:
Communities In Schools of Brunswick County is an accredited affiliate of the national Communities In Schools network, operating programs proven to keep students in school and on the path to graduation. Working closely with schools and partner organizations, Communities In Schools of Brunswick County uses evidence-based programs to serve students and their families. Based directly inside schools throughout the county, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical educational and community-based resources working hand-in-hand with schools, communities and families to identify their unique needs and surround students with a caring network of support. Learn more about Communities In Schools of Brunswick County at www.cisbrunswick.org.