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The University of Illinois at Chicago has released a study that says thrift store shoppers are after "intangible satisfactions" and not just bargains. One of the researchers, whose findings will be published in a journal on urban geography (yawn) says that thrift shops thrive because of the communities they are in and that shoppers love the air of mystery, telling their friends they bought something at the thrift shop, not on eBay.
Just to prove the point, which also helps explain a little why Clothes Optional announced they were closing with a poem, the study says Chicago thrift shops are in areas where incomes are above average and exist in clusters. Then they made a map of the clusters of five or more within a thousand feet of each other. Ahem, we made a map one time, too. Note by this screen cap from the study that most of them are on the North and Northwest sides.
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