James F. Mills
You never know what you’re going to discover at a thrift store, but often just sorting through the merchandise is the real fun of the experience. The Coachella Valley has plenty of thrift stores to choose from, but the one that truly stands out is Revivals.
Run by the Desert AIDS Project, Revivals is a top-tier thrift store. It seems to attract higher-quality items than other area stores, one of the reasons Revivals has frequently been named “Best of the Valley” by The Desert Sun’s annual readers poll.
“Customers keep coming back for a great selection of merchandise shoppers won’t find at the average thrift store, offered at great prices,” reports Barry Dayton, DAP’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
He’s not sure exactly why Revivals attracts higher quality items. Perhaps its just the store’s reputation or the fact people know it’s helping a worthy cause. Either way, the fact remains, area residents donate great stuff there.
Revivals started in 1991, as “just a little corner of our offices,” Dayton recalls. The merchandise carried was primarily donated by volunteers who worked at DAP.
That little corner proved popular enough that Revivals grew into its own separate store. And that one store has now grown into four stores—in Palm Springs at the Sun Center on South Palm Canyon Drive; in Cathedral City on Highway 111; in Palm Desert on Dinah Shore Drive near the I-10; and in San Diego in the Hillcrest section.
Between those four stores, Revivals generates 24 percent of DAP’s gross revenue—$3,643,000 in 2011.
“That makes it possible for DAP to provide medical and dental care, as well as a broad array of social services, to more than 2,200 clients,” says Dayton, who adds that 90 percent of the Revivals staff are volunteers.
Revivals is unique in that it also does consignments and estate buyouts, something that now constitutes approximately 10 percent of its business.
“We know of no other thrift store in America that does thrift, consignment and new merchandise, all in one location,” says Dayton. “Consignment is an exploding category and we wanted to join in this growth. It’s proven very good for us.”
People can drop off items seven days a week, or call Revivals to arrange for a free pickup.