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ReStores score huge donation

By Allen Norwood
Allen Norwood
Allen Norwood writes on Home design, do-it-yourself and real estate for The Charlotte Observer. His column appears each Saturday.

If you’re planning a bathroom project, I’ve got a deal for you: You can buy shower stalls and shower wall systems, along with other components, at deep discounts. New stuff – 50 percent off.

Metrolina Habitat ReStores, a group of 11 ReStores in the Charlotte region, received a huge donation early this week. Items should be unloaded, priced and on shelves in nine of the stores by now, according to Meg Robertson, executive director.

Items include 34-inch round showers with curtains – there are 23 of those – and 30 neo-angle shower kits with bases, walls and glass enclosures. There are nearly 200 42-inch brushed nickel glass enclosures, without bases or walls. And nearly 5,000 drain assemblies for utility tubs.

Robertson isn’t authorized to reveal the donor – but the value of all the new products was $104,000.

If you’re looking for any of those items, check them out. (If not, drop by a ReStore site anyway and you might find something else you can use.)

Typically, ReStore items are priced at 50 percent of retail. But the price can drop if items don’t move quickly. “If it sits on the floor for 30 days, stores will have the ability to discount,” Robertson said. ReStore handles it that way so stores reduce prices at about the same time and don’t compete on prices with each other.

Items will be available in nine of the 11 stores, Robertson said. “Lincolnton and Kannapolis won’t have them, but the others will.”

Two semi-truckloads came to Charlotte from New Jersey because of the working relationship among the 11 regional stores.

The donation was made through Habitat International, which realized the Metrolina ReStore partnership had the resources to handle so many items.

Single stores can’t manage very large donations, Robertson said. “Since we’ve formed this partnership, we can handle them. ... Once, we got five truckloads of shovels and rakes.”

ReStores accept new and gently used furniture, cabinetry, tools and hardware, windows and doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures and more. They resell items to support Habitat for Humanity. And business is picking up, Robertson said.

Creating the partnership a couple of years ago allowed the stores to pool money for marketing, for ads and commercials. “Business is up 6 percent over last year,” Robertson said.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, odds are that you’ve visited a ReStore outlet, either to make a donation or shop for bargains. If not, visit to learn more and to find links to the stores nearest you.

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