The Good Neighbor Shopâ€™s new Christmas shop is bustling with customers and full of festive holiday fare.
â€œItâ€™s beautiful,â€ said Jim Morrison, a customer. â€œThey fixed it up real good.â€
The shop is decorated for the holidays with ornament-filled trees and colorful display windows packed with angels, Santas and Christmas teddy bears. The shop itself offers, among other things, cookie tins, wrapping paper, stockings and big red bows.
The Christmas shop opened a week before Thanksgiving and is the fourth room in the Good Neighbor Shop, a second-hand store that sells donated items for low prices. The store is located in downtown Lincolnton on Academy Street.
â€œNothing in our store is hardly ever over $5, so everyone can shop here,â€ said Jane Bost, the store manager.
The Good Neighbor Shop depends largely on donated items to keep going. They do not receive government funds and rarely receive monetary donations.
â€œThe only way we get money is from people buying clothing or different items,â€ said Bost. â€œThat keeps us going. It keeps the light bill paid and the heat on.â€
All items sold at the Good Neighbor Shop are very affordable, many costing under a dollar, but a large number of customers receive items free after being referred by the Department of Social Services or Christian Ministry.
These customers have official slips designating how many items they can receive.
â€œWe give away clothes to the people who need them,â€ Bost said. â€œWe really give away more than we sell.â€
If low prices are not enough to lure customers to the store, employees do their best to present an enjoyable shopping environment.
The Good Neighbor Shop is set up to mimic a department store with menâ€™s, omenâ€™s and childrenâ€™s goods separated into rooms. The Christmas shop is the latest addition. It opened after the floors received new carpeting and the walls received new paneling.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a lot of people in there already,â€ said Frances Dellinger, an employee. â€œThey love it.â€
Many customers who patronize the Good Neighbor Shop are quite dedicated. Some enjoy the low prices. Others go to search for collectibles.
â€œWe have some people who come by everyday,â€ said Bost. â€œTheyâ€™re here when the doors open.â€
Whether a customer is receiving free clothes or searching out antiques, they get the same friendly service.
â€œOur main goal is to try to make everyone feel welcome,â€ Bost said. â€œWe treat everyone alike.â€
Store employees know certain customers by name and ask about their health and family. With winter coming on, their job has become especially hectic.
â€œWhen the seasons change we get busier,â€ Dellinger said.
Despite the opening of another room, the store is still packed full and often cramped. Some customers search through racks to find clothes for themselves, and some are buying items for the less fortunate.
â€œItâ€™s good prices,â€ said Morrison. â€œYou canâ€™t buy a shirt for two or three dollars at a store.â€
Well, not just any store at least.
â€œWeâ€™re cheaper than Goodwill, and we donâ€™t sell anything we wouldnâ€™t let our family wear,â€ said Mary Sue Smith, a store employee.
Store employees decorated their new shop with Christmas trees covered in ornaments, strands of beads and bows. Below this Christmas tree are a selection of cookie tins, which are for sale. Sarah Grano / LTN Photoby Sarah Grano