INDIANAPOLIS — Inflation is pushing customers to choose thrift stores over department stores. But a slowdown in donations means some stores are struggling to keep up with demand.

Since thrift stores reopened after the pandemic, stores have seen a slowdown in donations and that is creating big challenges.

Goodwill spokesman Ivan Cropper told me that when times are tight, people tend to hang on to items a little longer.

“The needs continue to be high,” Cropper said.

For Goodwill, this not only affects the number of items they can distribute to shoppers, but also the 4,200 Hoosiers they employ. Cropper says a donation is more than just a tax cut, it’s good for your community.

“Now, in recent times, almost a few years after reopening, we have seen a slowdown in donations to Goodwill, which is critical to our success,” Cropper said. “When I say success, we’re all talking about jobs and giving Hoosiers an opportunity to work. The majority or 60% of our employees have a disability and this is something we are passionate about. Giving people the opportunity to return to work and our ability to continue to do so depends on securing donations from Hoosiers.

The Salvation Army says it has also seen a slowdown in donations since reopening after the pandemic.

Thrift stores are asking the public to donate unused items, regardless of condition, if they are able. Many also accept monetary donations!