Issue 3: Review: Avalon Exchange Has Exchanged The Authentic Thrifting Experience To Keep Up With The Trends

Avalon Exchange is trying too hard to appeal to a very trendy audience


Photo Used with permission from Avalon Exchange

The exterior of Avalon Exchange, complete with murals and located on MacDill Ave.

Ella Wertz, News and Features Editor

Avalon Exchange opened a couple of months ago, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “upscale” thrift store aims to select fun and unique pieces that will appeal to their general audiences. While I think the store offers a variety of interesting pieces, the store seems to be trying way too hard to appeal to the typical trendy teenager. The pursuit to desperately impress our generation seems to have taken some of the joy out of the beloved hobby of thrifting.

Avalon is more similar to a consignment store than your typical their store. Their pieces have been sifted through thoroughly and employees select what they believe will sell and intrigue trendy shoppers. With this, the prices of clothing and accessories are higher, in comparison to thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, which severely diminishes the monetary benefits for shopping second-hand.

The atmosphere of the store is really aesthetically pleasing—once again, pushing towards appealing to trendy teenagers. The outside of the store is covered in cool murals which sets the vibe even before you walk in. Once you do walk in, there are endless rows of racks as far as the eye can see, which provides Avalon with that authentic thrift store feeling that seems to be missing in many other places.

There are basic and contemporary pieces displayed around the store. There are light-up speakers playing a mix of pop and indie music. One of the back walls of the store is covered in purses, sunglasses, and socks. The check-out area is covered in incoming clothes and rings. The chaotic environment is almost overstimulating.

However, there is an upside to their more structured take on a thrift store: the organization of the store. Typically, in my experience, the Goodwill and Salvation Army have little to no effective organization—Avalon differs completely from this. Every rack in the store is labeled by type and size of clothing.

As I sifted through the racks, there was not one item out of place, which is extremely impressive for any retail store. This organization definitely makes the thrifting process way more efficient; however, again, it takes away the authenticity of thrifting.

Fitting in with Avalon’s attempt to appeal to a trendier audience, all of the employees are pretty young. The store is chocked full of employees as well. While you are shopping, they’re sorting through new finds and organizing racks. However, even though the employees were strong in numbers, I felt like they had a pretty weak presence.

None of the employees made an effort to approach me or even welcome any shoppers into the store during my time there. Additionally, I waited 15 minutes at the checkout counter before I was able to checkout. There was no one in line and there were two employees behind the counter and two employees standing at the counter behind me. Overall, their customer service was not impressive in the slightest.

Avalon Exchange is the perfect spot for any trendy shopper. It is evident who Avalon’s target audience is—they appeal to them well in every aspect of the store. However, if you are looking for a more authentic thrifting experience, I would recommend the Goodwill bins or Salvation Army, even if pieces are a bit harder to find there because it preserves that thrift store charm.


Address: 2823 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629

Hours: 11 A.M. to 7 P.M Monday-Saturday, 12 P.M to 6 P.M. Sunday