News / Business

Happy days for shoppers as Savers returns

Store reopens after almost 12-month renovation

Brunswick Savers

THE wait is over for Brunswick shopaholics who have been left bereft for most of the year by the closure for renovation of Sydney Road retail institution Savers.

The thrift store reopens on Wednesday morning following a complete facelift that included the replacement of its roof, which was understood to have contained asbestos.

But despite the length of time it has been out of operation for the renovation, shoppers shouldn’t expect any major changes from what they remember of the old store apart from the introduction of self-service check out registers.

The long-anticipated opening will see the store restocked with thousands of second-hand items at a time when cost of living concerns are top of mind.

The Brunswick outlet was the first in Australia for the North American-based thrift store brand and remains its Australian flagship. While it was out of operation, the closest Savers outlet was at Preston.

“We are so excited to finally be able to reopen the doors at our Brunswick Savers store and welcome back the incredible Savers community,” the company’s Activation Manager, Danielle Harris, said in a statement.

“It’s one of our most popular stores within Victoria and we know that Melburnians have been eagerly awaiting this moment.”

The store closed in January for the renovation and until a few weeks ago was hidden behind temporary wooden hoardings which had been covered in graffiti.

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The company was unable to provide details of how much the refurbishment cost, but said the store had undergone a full face-lift from top to bottom.

The roof has been replaced and the floors have been redone, with a fresh coat of white paint inside and graffiti painted over outside.

Shoppers will now enter through an airlock-style atrium, but features of exposed brick on the interior wall keep the store’s original look.

The store has been advertising for full-time staff in recent weeks and will employ about 80 people when it opens.

Savers is owned by the US-based private equity giant Ares Management and in 2021, the chain of 306 stores around the world generated $US1.2 billion in sales. There are 11 stores in Australia, nine of them in Melbourne.

Founded in 1954 in San Francisco, the business operates by partnering with not-for-profit organisations to take donations of second hand goods on its behalf, and distributing a proportion of its sales back to the partner charities.

The Brunswick store is partnered with Diabetes Australia. It is estimated that Savers diverts on average more than 7 million kg of textiles from Australian landfills each year.