Neighbors Clothes Closet:
The Look… The Price… The Place!
The Neighbors Clothes Closet is a non-profit, second-hand store that offers carefully selected clothing in one-of-a-kind styles for the whole family. We also have exciting finds for your home at prices that will leave you smiling.
Staffers are volunteers who take great pride in carefully sorting and selecting items for our store. Helping families save money while “repurposing” previously used items are the key principles that guide us. This repurposing also helps the environment.
Thrifty is the new “Chic”. Our prices will help you stretch your dollars and our ever-changing selections will keep you coming back. Clothes, shoes, collectibles, and household items – we have them all. Brands include Jones New York, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Ann Klein, Coldwater Creek, Tahari, Ralph Lauren, Chico’s and many more. Fitting rooms are available so that you can try before you buy.
The Neighbors Clothes Closet is open to the public. Stop by today and see what we have for YOU!!!
Great clothes – and more. All in one store!!
Neighbors Clothes Closet History
April 20, 1972
First Presbyterian Church and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Parish House had a continual rummage sale and donated the proceeds to start Neighbors.
Space was donated at 519 Marie Avenue, South St. Paul. The donated space was in a basement in space that was previously a shoe repair shop. The Clothes Closet officially was preparing to open for business on May 15. Volunteers started to collect and sort clothes.
The store first opened on June of 1972. At first they had very few customers and profits were about $100 a month. The store closed down during July and August of 1973. They would open on an emergency basis only.
The store moved from their basement location to Central Square during September of 1975.
In June of 1976 news came that the clothes closet space at Central Square was to be torn down.
After months of being closed, the clothes closet was preparing to open at its new location: The Union Hall, 221 W Grand Avenue, in South St. Paul. The official re-opening was set for December 6, 1976. The Clothes Closet Volunteer Coordinator suggested a spring bake sale as a means of raising money.
Customers were complaining about the lack of air conditioning, leaky roof and deep holes in the driveway entrance. (Many buckets were routinely placed in specific spots to catch rain water coming through the roof) HRA verified that the joining Warner Building had been purchased and would be demolished. The Neighbors board felt that even though the Union Building would perhaps not be torn down, there would be a time during demolition that the Clothes Closet would have to be closed.
An aggressive effort by the Neighbors Board was in place to find a new location for the store, as within 5 months the store would be without space.
200 volunteer hours went into moving the Clothes Closet into the Globe Building, 222 North Concord Exchange, South St. Paul. The new facility was far superior in every way. Volunteers thought the new space was wonderful, the sorting room was heavenly. Volunteers had a sink, refrigerator, stove and nice cabinets. Finally, the Clothes Closet had room to hang clothes…
The Clothes Closet volunteers tried everything to boost sales. On one occasion, the buildings long flight of stairs was lined with plants that volunteers brought in for a special sale. They saved and sold Christmas decorations, toys and skates. Volunteers would carry clothes down a long flight of stairs to have a “sidewalk sale”. Other times they would transport clothing to have a “sale in the park” or a “special sale for senior citizens”. Volunteers had style shows at area high-rise apartments and churches. They also had bake sales and salad luncheons…
A county employee, who shared office space with Neighbors, found a resource for huge quantities of new shoes. These shoes were name brands, but faded, mismatched, quality rejects and volunteers had to sort very carefully, as many “pair” of shoes were for the same foot. For every sale, long lines of people appeared ready to purchase inexpensive new shoes. Sales were very successful. Our shoe resource dried up after about two years.
Neighbors moved to 218 13th Avenue South, South St. Paul.
Neighbors Clothes Closet moved to 222 Grand Avenue West, South St. Paul.