Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today, we’re heading back to a thrift store, a place we haven’t been in quite a while! I’m a lifelong thrifter and come from a long line of thrift store shoppers. My grandparents were the most smitten with thrift shops. My grandparents, who were born just before the Depression, would often make a weekend out of hitting up Salvation Army and Goodwill, in addition to many independent and smaller thrift stores, most of which are now gone. By the time I was thrifting on my own, Goodwill had become the dominant chain in Houston, and I grew to really like their Houston operations. While I had heard complaints of high prices or items snagged for eBay coming from other Goodwill operations, the Houston ones seemed above board. We even had the off-shoot Goodwill Computer Works, which was a haven for someone like me who collects old technology. However, Goodwill has made some odd decisions, to say the least, in the past few years, and a topic that has been addressed on the blog seems to have headed the way of Goodwill in other cities. In my distaste towards the new Goodwill, I have tried other stores, finding most to be about the same level as Goodwill, or almost solely focused on clothing. That is until I tried Texas Thrift in Meyerland. I felt that it was certainly a better attempt at copying Goodwill than, say, Family Thrift, but it certainly didn’t live up to my Desert Industries expectations. Although that was two years ago, with a new location on Westheimer, I wanted to give Texas Thrift a second chance.
First, though, a bit of background information on Texas Thrift. The company is actually based out of Alabama and operates over 30 stores throughout the Southeast. Their brands include Texas Thrift, Music City Thrift (in Nashville), and City Thrift anywhere else. The company came to Texas in the 1990s and slowly expanded here, with about 20 stores in our state in operation as of 2024. As far as I can tell, the stores are not associated with a charity or a non-profit. While it might be possible the chain is “pulling a Value Village,” the fact that they accept donations at the store is a bit confusing. That might help to explain the price structure, which seemed a bit up there to me. Everything in the store is reused, but some items, like the Pop Figures, had prices that you would expect to see as new. Most of the store seemed fine in terms of clothing and general merchandise, but occasionally, something jumped out price-wise. The selection was pretty consistent with what you might find at Goodwill 5 years ago. The deals are tucked in, and scalpers definitely hit Texas Thrift up, but the store was being restocked while I was there. That being said, it didn’t have much of what I was after. No retail remnants (I would have bought the tea dispenser if it had a lid!) and no vintage electronics. Ultimately, Texas Thrift will probably not end up on my regular stop list. However, I do prefer the current use to a long vacancy. The building was originally a Homer’s Hardware Store and later became one of the first Ross locations in Houston. It was also a 24 Hour Fitness, and various churches throughout the years. The other two thrift stores to open, will be a Goodwill close to Beltway 8, and another independent store near Highway 6, both along Westheimer.