Dolores Johnson Robinson decided to revive a family pastime after being in retirement for five years. She decided to open a thrift store, which is located at the block of 15th and Montgomery streets. Robinson’s business is so simply named “The Thrift Store.” This very building has been in her family since the 1940s.
This old brick building was first a tailor shop that was run by her great-grandmother. People from all over the Philadelphia area came specifically to this business for the intricate pressing and sewing techniques. After Robinson’s grandmother turned 80 she retired and handed down the business to other family members.
Robinson worked in the city as a hearing officer and retired in 2004. She grew up in North Central on Bouvier Street and decided that she wanted to do something that would benefit her community. Robinson said she believes opening a thrift store was a great way for her to help her local community financially.
“My idea was to keep the prices low to appeal to the neighborhood,” Robinson explained.
Robinson ventures out into the suburbs to different thrift stores and buys items that have either a vintage or urban style. Robinson has a selection of clothing for women who are considered “plus size.” Robinson said she plans on expanding this collection since it is her most popular section in the store. Robinson’s store takes donations and people are more than welcome to donate clothes, kitchenware, shoes and board games.
Kristen Acacio, a student shopper, visited this store for the first time and was extremely impressed. Acacio said, “I like the clothes because they are like brand-new and you can’t beat the price.”
Robinson said she is pleased with the outcome of her business thus far. Her plan in the future is for her grandson, Kenneth, to take over the business and keep it in the family.
The Thrift Store is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.