Vicki Briganti – WWJ-TV Writer / Producer / Editor

The Salvation Army in Royal Oak has reopened after completing renovations this spring. What a great place to find your next favorite treasure! I know one mom who calls it “Sally Ann’s” to make it seem like an upscale shoppe and not a resale store. The deals that woman has found; she bought a baby swing, crib, car seat, and bouncy chair for $30. All of it. For $30.

If you’re willing to take the time, like she did, you can find deals and value. I bought a Kate Spade purse for $35. My favorite sweatshirt was $6, but since it had a 50% off sticker, it was $3.

In addition to new carpet and fixtures, fresh paint, and remodeled dressing rooms, the Royal Oak Salvation Army received a marketing makeover. It is now called Sally’s on 4th. Manager Mary Lou Lantz’s goal was to turn Sally’s on 4th into a boutique featuring high-end designers. “We wanted to centralize names like Prada and Burberry into one location; Royal Oak is one of our smallest stores,” said Lantz. “You can find items ranging from $4-$400. It’s not for your typical thrift shopper. It’s quality for a good price.”

If the store isn’t for the typical thrift shopper, where should these people shop? “One of our other 25 locations in Southeastern Michigan,” she said.

Mission Statement

Hmm… I don’t know if the many homeless people in Royal Oak could afford to shop at the Salvation Army before the remodel, but now with the more expensive clothing all in Royal Oak, their next nearest thrift store is 6.3 miles away in Warren, kind of a long distance for someone who is struggling financially and might not even have transportation.

According to, the Salvation Army began in 1865 when William Booth, a London minister, gave up the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take his message into the streets where it would reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.

My question is: Has the mission of the Salvation Army changed? Do the poor, underemployed, or homeless need a $25 Eileen Fisher dress shirt?

At Sally’s on 4th, I saw a pair of Franco Sarto shoes that had never been worn; Brooks Brothers tie for $10; DKNY swimsuit for $28; Eddie Bauer shirt for $16. Seems to me, I could buy a new swimsuit for less at TJ Maxx or Old Navy.

I guess if you want gently used designer brand clothing for less, this is the place to go. Your best bet is to stop in on Memorial Day. All clothing is 50% off. Maybe you’ll find your next favorite treasure.

Sally’s on 4th hours are: Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm; Sunday 11am-5pm for donations only.

>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti

Comments (2)
  1. just.sayin says:

    The Salvation Army thrift stores are not intended to directly support those in need. The money generated at the stores is used to fund other programs.

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