RICHMOND, Va — A recent study found that 90 percent of the donated items available at Diversity Thrift are from This End Up Furniture Company. The classic crate-style furniture, best known from being in your great-aunt’s day room or on the sidewalk with a “FREE” sign, is especially remembered in the Richmond community, as the first This End Up shop was opened on Strawberry Street in 1975.
However, with its decrease in popularity, Diversity Thrift has become a haven for the unwanted furniture. Rob Rice, assistant manager and furniture historian, explained how so much This End Up found its way to them.
“It started in the late ‘80s, when people were getting rid of their This End Up to make room for the onslaught of wicker sweeping the nation,” Rice said. “A lot of the crate-like furniture ended up in churches, community centers, and beach rental condos. Once it became too unsightly for even those places, and the owners were unable to sell it on Craigslist, it began accumulating here.”
When asked how popular the furniture is with customers, Rice admitted that they have a hard time selling it. “We end up giving most of it away to anyone who will take it. But we don’t have much of a choice, we’ve got to make room for incoming furniture, even if the majority of what’s coming in is just more This End Up.”
Researchers further discovered that Diversity’s remaining inventory is four percent Barbara Streisand records and six percent Welch’s jelly jar glasses.