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Thift Stores Try to Cash in on Grunge

April 27, 1993

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Four Salvation Army thrift stores think they’ve found a winning combination: funding good works with grunge.

The stores have dubbed themselves ″grunge headquarters,″ hyping their huge stock of $4 used jeans and $3 flannel shirts for those into the latest look.

″We’ve got such a wide selection of grungable attire. We can be an outlet for people interested in becoming grungy,″ said the Salvation Army’s Bill Keskey.

He said sales at the stores are up over last year’s figures and are helping finance programs including an adult rehabilitation center that houses 104 men.

The grunge look often includes an oversized, worn flannel shirt, torn and faded jeans, a pair of clunky boots and a bandana knotted over long hair. It got its start a few years ago with Seattle’s rock bands.

Well-worn clothes have been a staple of the country’s 1,475 Salvation Army stores for a century.

″The Salvation Army is selling the same stuff it always sold. It just happens to be in fashion,″ said Rhonda Reagin, a 25-year-old thrift store regular.

Leon Ferraez, the Salvation Army’s national spokesman, said the Jacksonville stores appear to be the first in the organization to try to capitalize on the grunge wave: ″I’m not so sure the grunge headquarters is what we’d recommend, but if it works ...″

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