Just down the road from my house is a small shopping area, with a Coles, Safeway (It's not Woolworths damn it!) and a few random shops. Mixed in is a Villa Maria op shop, and across the road is a large Salvos. Unfortunately the Villa store was closed, but we headed over to the Salvos to see what we could find.
There is plenty of parking out the front, and there are a few other large 'factory' stores in the same lot. Now, I know sometimes it can be confusing to find, but if you're ever in the area, look out for the Carpet store on the corner, and turn in there. The store is larger than it looks from the outside, and they have everything from clothes, to mattresses, and pretty much everything in between, even a piano!
The selection of clothes is really good, and they've categorised everything just like you'd expect. It's easy to search for specific things you want, because of how it's set out, but the lighting isn't the best, so it can be hard to see colours and stains etc. on the clothes.
They have a massive selection of books to chose from and even have a couple of chairs so you can sit and read. This would be awesome, except for the older male staff member who routinely patrols the store and tells off people when he thinks are misbehaving. Kids, adults, he'll tell off anyone. But don't let that put you off, the rest of the staff there are amazing. Smiles and jokes all round!
There is a small yet formidable selection of CD's to look through, as well as a few records and DVD's.
Everything is sorted out into categories like adult fiction and kids books, so again, it makes things easy to find (I'm beginning to see a pattern here...).
The only thing I couldn't really find were many kids toys, I mean there were a few soft toys, and a small basket of medium sized toys (water pistols, dolls etc), but nothing that really catches your eye. I think it would be amazing if they had a section for the kids to actually play with some of the toys, I know for me when I go shopping with my friends kids, they want to take home the toys they play with. It just makes good business sense!
They had an awesome selection of glassware, which was really neatly displayed on a wall. From sets of glasses, or one off water jugs, to vases and bowls, the options were endless. You can't really see it from the front of the store, as it's currently hidden behind a wall of wooden furniture, but all the better for me I say!
Speaking of the wall of furniture, facing the glassware were buffets and dressers filled with kitchen goods. They had quite a few items of 'vintage' Tupperware (I say vintage because these are ones I remember my Oma having at our old holiday house in Philip Island), and some great bread boxes. They also had some kitchen gadgets, like scales, graters and the such.
I was actually pretty impressed with this store. Considering it's size, and ignoring the cranky old man, I couldn't find anything wrong with it. I mean obviously every store has it's downfalls, this one being the lighting, all in all it was a pretty great find. Yes, the prices were stock standard Salvos prices, but I think the pricing for the larger items was actually pretty decent.
I'll most certainly be coming back when I head over to the Villa store. Hopefully next time I can walk away with arms full of goodies!