Value Village Canada: No longer organising by colour?

To those VV Haters out there, I realise that this will just be another nail in the coffin. And to the VV Lovers, I’m sure that you’ll be surprised to hear that not only have they changed the way they hang their pants, but they aren’t organising items according to colour anymore!

I am an avid VV shopper, by choice. And boy, with at least 3 other thrift shops in one intersection nearby, do I have choices! I choose to frequent VV because 1) the core staff are lovely people and 2) unlike Goodwill and Salvation Army, it’s actually organised.

Now, however, things seemed to have changed:  There are constantly new faces, everyone is uniformed in black, pants are hung sideways, and items are no longer displayed as per the colours of the “rainbow”.  I did ask what was going on to an employee that I speak to on a regular basis and she responded, “I have no idea what’s going on.  They seem to be making up all these new policies that don’t seem to make sense!”

These new policies certainly don’t make any sense to me, a customer.  Like who picks pants out based on the waistband?  And since items are no longer organised according to colour, not only is it going to look messy, but it will be messy ’cause it’ll prompt people to randomly place things wherever they want due to the way it looks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for change…when there are advantages, but I don’t see any in the cases listed above!  Instead of setting itself apart, the new look is making the store look more and more like a Goodwill/Salvation Army.  And if this is true, and the prices are still higher than other thrift stores, why would I continue to choose to shop there??

Instead of taking the passive-aggressive stance, grumbling underneath my breath, I’m definitely going to say something about all these “new changes”.  I’m going to contact Value Village and I urge other irked shoppers to do the same.

42 responses to “Value Village Canada: No longer organising by colour?”

  1. VancouverGrownUp says:

    I agree with the thumbs down to no longer organizing by colour but i do like the new pants hanging style. You can check a waist band against yourself for sizing or check out the style of waist band (I am always looking for full elastic waist for my son who is potty training) without having to remove the pants from the hanger. Much quicker.

    • joe says:

      why are these people allowed to spend all day in value village grabbing all the items while people that work get nothing but garbage at night because they clean the place in the day and leave nothing for the working people isn’t this lottering ???

  2. buzyb34 says:

    It looks horrible. Now it will take forever to go through the racks. It doesnt make any sense to me either. I love shopping at VV. two thumbs down for this change

  3. LL says:

    I guess they’re becoming lazy now. Maybe they want the store to appear more like a treasure hunt.

  4. Lily says:

    Stephania, do you have sources or are these just your observations from your local store?

    Back up your claims.

  5. Andie says:

    so, they are arranging by size now? if that’s the case i’m okay with it, but yes, it will ook messier.

  6. vvemployee says:

    only pants/jeans/capris and shorts are hung sideways. skirts and activewear are still hung ‘normally’.
    the sense is that people would normally ‘rip’ out the item to see the waist band or brand creating more mess for us to clean up (and it only takes one customer)

    I work in Winnipeg, there is NO truth to the rumour that we are not organizing by rainbow.
    Size FIRST, then color. It’s not a typical rainbow though- it’s yellow, orange, red, purple, pink, green, blue, brown, grey, black/white, black, white.
    There are you facts from a current employee.

    If things are out of order it is usually not because the staff is lazy but because people like to put things where they don’t belong if they decide not to take them.
    So I’m asking any of our current shoppers, if you can’t take the items back to the fitting rooms or know where they go- please hang them on the ends in the aisle, not amidst the organized clothes.

  7. danifish says:

    I just went there yesterday!! I was surprised to see the pants like that, but as long as they are by size I couldn’t care less how they hang them… Although I still frequently go elsewhere like Talize and Goodwill, because their prices are WAY better!!

  8. Jo says:

    Hmm, My local VV is still organized by rainbow- I went this past Monday! Maybe it’s only at certain locations?

  9. jules says:

    “Who choses pants by waistband?”

    NOT ME!!! Im a size zero, but those jeans over there that are a 16 look nice! Im sure i’ll fit in them……
    Seriously thats the only way you should buy clothes, by your size, not by their colour.

  10. FallenPixels says:

    I am with Jules, it is easier if I can just look through the stuff in my size at once rather than pulling out a load of stuff to look at sizing. I can tell if I like the colour easily by looking at the stuff in my size.

  11. Cheri says:

    I worked at Value Village for 3 years and i’m sure they still colourize their merchandise. It is just that there is one person per store who does the colourizing and they only get a 5 hour shift, 4 times a week. It isn’t fun and it is A LOT of work. Not only are you colourizing, you are also taking merchandise out that doesn’t belong there and sorting it by size. It takes a very long time and as soon as your done one section, a customer will come along and completely ruin it. Then there is the night staff which is usually just teenagers who just want to make a quick buck and get the hell out of there and they will just shove clothes from the change rooms everywhere. As for the way they hang their pants, it hasn’t changed at all in the stores around here, maybe just the store you go to? I’m not sure. It’s impossible to keep those stores clean and organized, trust me!

  12. lil e says:

    I agree with Jules as well. i don’t shop at VV, but I would prefer to search for things by my size, rather than seeing something I like and then I have to **find my size. I rather look through an entire rack, and anything I like I can just pick it up.

  13. Lennea says:

    I LOVE this new way of hanging pants on their sides.

    It makes it much easier to check the size and brand for myself without talking the hanger out.

    Then when I am sure I am interested I can take them out and check style and condition.

    I have seen a couple of other retail stores hanging their pants like this as well and I am 100% for it.

    It makes way more sense to me.

    As for organizing by size and colour, I hope they are not getting rid of that.

    VV stores are much to big to have to check the whole rack.

    It already takes me a couple of hours to go through a store, if they changed the size / colour organization it could be a deal breaker for me.

  14. Someone says:

    YES! My roomate works at value village and she HATES the new changes. She thinks it’s just not a good choice. I hope they change it.

  15. Sally says:

    Was it organized by size before? The best option it by size…

  16. systemfx says:

    I hate it all .looks neat but makes life harder

  17. Princesstefer says:

    Why is everyone assuming that they don’t sort by size when they sort by colour?? They organize by size first and the stuff is sub organized by colour… which is actually quite convenient when you’re looking for colours that suit you or that go with an outfit you’re putting together.
    Ours is still sorted by colour, and I’d be surprised if that changes.

    As for the way they hang the pants, I do like that I can quickly see the brand (yes, I’m sorry, brand does matter – not ’cause I need to wear a label but ’cause jeans by 725 suck, especially compared to Jacob, Gap, etc.). But, I do prefer to see the cut first: straight leg, baggy, bell or boot, etc. I also don’t want tacky sequins down the side of the leg.

    Argument about seeing the sizing: they are mostly (aside from stuff that’s been moved/dumped) organized by size… and the tag they add to the side that hung outwardly had the size on it – granted their sizing was sometimes off, and so can be the manufacturers. But I find it much more efficient to be in the section that is supposed to be my size, find a cut I like and then verify the actual size, if it looks closish, then I try it on.

    I’m sure this new way of hanging the pants will mean that people will take them off hangers less, but they should maybe consider hiring more people to deal with putting items back, and/or put up signs reminding customers that their consideration with help keep prices lower.

    Personally, aside from not being able to see the cut first, I find this looks much messier and overwhelming and I didn’t even look at the jeans (which typically makes up the bulk of my purchase) the last three times I was in there. I tried to look through them the first time I went in after the change, but found it really annoying, so haven’t bothered since.

    My new policy beef with them: They no longer sell items without tags to customers. I understand why they do this, but I found out about it the painful way. I found a brand new pair of Marines by Aussie Soles, in my size with Edmonton Eskimo logos on them, fell in love and figured that I’ll just ask them what they’ll cost me. that’s when the clerk took them away and said that they need to be priced by one of their pricers that come in at night, she also obnoxiously tapped the new sign with her nail… umm, ok, bu can they be held for me in the morning? No, I’d need to come in and hope they’re available. They were not. I never saw them again. Sure I’ve seen some people take off tags to try to get better prices from the clerks, but now they’ll likely just switch the tags. Why couldn’t they just have a manager trained for pricing? I was even willing to pay on the high end for those shoes. 🙁

  18. C.. says:

    I love the new way of hanging pants – at my vv they still sort by size. Different brands of jeans fit me in different sizes, so it makes it so much easier to find ones that fit!

    I hope they still organize by colour – they did last time I was there, but I guess it could change.

  19. abbasgirl says:

    Jules, Fallenpixels, etc. It is arranged by size but then colour coordinated. So for example, if you are looking for a blue pair of pants in size 10, you would go to the size 10 section and all the blue pants in that size would be together. It’s the best way to organize used clothing so I hope they don’t stop doing it that way.

  20. dandelion says:

    I dont shop our value village. I find the prices too high for the quality I get ( at our value Village anyway). Our local Goodwill is the best second hand store I’ve ever been in! It’s so clean and the prices are great. That being said I have been in a few goodwill stores that were pretty disgusting. I also like Talize!

  21. Stephania says:

    As far as I can tell, clothing is organised in this order:
    1. Type (pants, tops, skirts, jeans, etc.),
    2. Size
    ***3. Colour – As per the comments, it seems as though some VVs are still considering this, but the one I shop at has completely done away with colour.***

    As some commenters mentioned, it takes FOREVER now to look for something ’cause you hafta look through the entire row!

  22. FallenPixels says:

    Mine still has it by colour but honestly, I just look for what would suit me not walk in thinking I need a red shirt

  23. HistoryBuffette says:

    My local store hasn’t made the pants change yet and I hope that they don’t and here’s why; don’t you guys find that (as with everything these days, I even find this at Old Navy) depending on where things are made and their brand, the size on the pant or on the size racks still doesn’t fit you? I find this especially true at VV.

    When I shop for pants (usually jeans, I am a VV jeans collector it seems) I am looking for a certain style, and especially jeans with neat pockets (it’s just what I like, and by neat I don’t mean sparkly or with fringe, I mean with top flaps and buttons and perhaps different shapes or cuts) and I try on everything from sizes 9/10 to 11/12, just because sometimes I fit anything from in there (and sometimes I REALLY don’t).

    I go through each rack flicking through the pants looking at the back (I don’t care about brand tags, I don’t go round letting strangers look inside my waistband so who really cares anyway) and so the new way is going to slow me down A LOT. I’m still not sure why people like to shop the new way? Do you really get a good sense of what the pants look like that way? Why don’t you trust the size on the rack as a guideline? Do you really understand if you’re a 28X32 or a 32X32? Don’t you try these things on before you buy them anyway? Are brands really that important to you that you won’t consider the item until you see if it’s by roots or Walmart’s brand (or whatever you’re brandname line is)? Who are you and why am I asking you all of these questions? 😉

    The bottom line is I have adapted my VV shopping to the way they did things, and it sucks to have to change after 10 years of shopping there.

  24. Mini-Me says:

    As a recent convert to VV shopping, I’ve been very impressed with how organized their stores are and the HUGE amount of clothing they have! But having said that…

    VV pet peeve:
    Hanging GIRLS’ Size 14 pants/jeans in the WOMEN’S 13/14 section.

    SIZING Girls’ Size 14 as Women’s 13/14.


  25. Janine says:

    I shop at VV in Victoria from time to time, especially for kids clothes and dress clothes but it TOTALLY grosses me out! The clothes, mostly, are alright, but the store itself is pretty much the filthiest store on the planet. I accidently let a pair of pants drag on the floor there, for a minute tops, and by the time I noticed the bottom of the legs had a THICK layer of dust and hair and fluff on them. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just normal dirt on the floor but the store is located in the worst area of town, where the homeless people and drug addicts hang out, so the things being tracked in REALLY need to be cleaned up for the sake of peoples health. I don’t like to let the kids out of the cart while we’re there (this has resulted in 20 minute crying sessions) and I put hand sanitizer all over the cart when I put them in it and layer it on their hands when we leave. If they would properly clean the store I would shop there far more often.

  26. JR says:

    vv is a joke, especially when you see dollarama items priced for $2.99 and t-shirts torn to hell by a puppy sold for 6 or 7 dollars…honestly, you can occasionally get a bargain from vv but i believe the store should be left off a website about finding good deals.

  27. Pat says:

    My Value Village is still organizing by size and colour as usual.

    However, am I the only one who finds it a little offensive that you feel the need to specify that you shop in thrift stores by “choice?” Do you feel superior?

  28. Stephania says:

    @Pat – If you read the sentence PROPERLY, it states that I shop at the VV by choice – as opposed to the other thrift stores in the area!

    I have choices because there is more than one store in that concentrated area.

  29. Wyn says:

    I worked at Value Village for a while as a student, and the only reason I can think about changing the way the pants are hung is that many customers used to take them off the hanger to compare the waistband to their own waist, and then promptly throw the pants on the floor or toss them over the rack if they decided to look at another pair of pants instead. I imagine the company is hoping that the new hanging system will prevent customers from needing to take the pants off the hanger, and therefore they will be more inclined to rehang the pants when they are finished looking at them. As for the new policy against colour-sorting, when I worked there it was very difficult to organize by colour, as customers didn’t understand our sorting policy would would re-hang items they were looking at in the wrong colour zone. It wasn’t unusual for a team of us to have to stay behind an extra hour after the store closed to try and reorganize the racks by colour. Of course, that also costs the company money, as they would have to pay their employees overtime for that extra hour we spent trying to reorganize the store using the rainbow system.

  30. LR says:

    I guess I like the treasure hunt idea to find unexpected deals and great buys. I like the other thrift stores and find VV too organized and feel some of those gems get picked out due to all the sorting and never make it to the floor.

  31. Colin says:

    I love the new hanging of pants on the side. Love it. I hope they don’t change it back.

    As for sorting by colour.. no big deal. As long as they are sorted by size, that is all that matters.

  32. Silvana says:

    I am not a fan of VV and have always walked out 1 minute after walking in.
    The prices are MUCH too high……you can get as good new if you re a good shopper. OK maybe once in a blue moon there’ll be that real find but having shopped other thrift stores VV honestly comes at the bottom of my list.

    I donate my stuff to a shelter and can honestly say that I wouldn’t dare to give away things that are in such awful condition as you see there sometimes. If I wouldn’t wear it it goes to the curb.

  33. jenn says:

    I personally choose my pants by length. I am tall why waste my time looking at short pants…I HATE the way VV hangs its pants. I stopped looking at the pants out of pure frustration. Everytime I try to measure the length of the pant leg I have to take it of the hanger What a pain! I would rather see the pants hanging the old way, by the waist.

  34. HistoryBuffette says:

    @LR, most of us find that the staff at VV doesn’t go through their stuff ENOUGH (though I can’t blame them), whilst you feel that they go through it and take the ‘treasures’ out? You’d be lucky to find something there from before the 70’s anyway, so if by treasure you’re looking for the type of thing that you’d be pleasantly suprised to find is worth $3000 on Antiques Roadshow, a) you’re better off garage sale-ing it or trying to find one of those rare unobservant antiques dealers and b) that sort of treasure hunting or accidental treasure inheriting is more likely to yield reward in lands with a lot of history and idiot grandchildren who sell/throw things out because they want a ‘modern’ looking flat, ie: In the UK where I hale from, other parts of Europe and in some of the oldest parts of the US.

    Unless you meant by ‘treasure’ a cute pair of jeans or a pretty figurine, to which I reiterate, where do you think VV empoyees get the time to beat you to the punch?

  35. Sami says:

    I agree with you, Jenn. I want to be able to see the length when the pants or shorts are still on the hanger. It definitely takes longer to look through a rack. Not sure I’ll bother. Left this morning without trying anything on or buying anything.

  36. Stephania says:

    I’ve read all the complaints, similar to mine, but is anyone going to bother voicing their opinions where it counts? To their store manager &/or to their head office?

    HOPEFULLY, if they keep track of their sales, they’ll make changes accordingly. Otherwise, things will remain the same!

  37. LR says:


    By treasure I don’t mean gold or a $3000 item…not like the “Pawn Shop” TV Show…lol Just like you said could be a cute pair of jeans, furniture…etc.

    I use to live near a really awesome Goodwill and they had everything from furniture, clothes and electronics and most of the time those items where quickly sorted and put right on the floor and the prices where so great. So by “TREASURE” I mean something you may find useful, the quality is good…sometimes great and it’s a great price.

    I find VV prices are much higher, the clothes are mostly older than the other thrift shops with no options to really find anything newer. Since we are in 2011, items don’t have to be in the 70’s anymore to be much older.

    People donate all kinds of items new and old…some good quality, some almost new but somehow I never seem to find those items at VV but I do in other thift shops….which is why I feel some items may get sorted out before it even gets to the floor….What do they do with all the better quality items that they receive??

    I just found that the places that did less sorting and put the items quickly on the floor had the best deals and they didn’t have to pay their staff extra money to sort by color….something that is not really necessary and could help to bring their prices down.

    I keep going back to VV hoping that something has changed and agree with Silvana and after 1 minute I walk out….it’s last on my list as well. VV is ok but I think that it needs to be improved.

  38. HistoryBuffette says:

    @LR, I guess it’s about where you live and how each store is run by different people. My Goodwill and Salvation Army are really gross. They are also in a not so great part of town with crappy parking, whereas my local VV is in a strip mall next to a gym. I find their prices to be okay ($7.99 for a pair of Bluenotes jeans that have nary been on someone’s arse is pretty good to me) plus with the supersaver thing they have going and those punch cards this month that get you 30% off everything including furnature, I have been doing pretty well there and I like that aside from some inevitable dust and their bunny bretheren it is CLEAN and doesn’t make you worry about what other critters you’re bringing home with you.

    Of course my local store is not in a big city, and perhaps that is where the price issues are?

    I do get what you mean though, when they sort they do sometimes price accordingly; I was flipping through jeans a couple of weeks ago and saw a pair by Gucci with these little crystals on them (size 0, which I wouldn’t fit in my dreams, but I don’t wear things with little crystals all over them anyway, no matter who made them) and saw with a little shock at first that they were priced (if memory serves) somewhere in the $49.99 region. So they aren’t stupid, but I was shocked to see anyone donating perfectly fine looking way-too-expensive-new-to-begin-with designer jeans in the first place. Is it perhaps more regular in the city?
    My additional point with this example is that at least at MY VV, the employees don’t seem to get first dibs, since I’m sure those jeans could re-sell on ebay for better than $50 if someone had first dibs on them. But then again I only see guys in the sorting part of our store (coming and going with those huge donation bins) so that may be why… I know if I was a sorter there I’d snag stuff I liked if it were allowed. It’s just human nature.


    No I probably won’t be complaining to my local VV people, mainly because I don’t shop there a ton usually (it’s still out of the way, just not as bad as the other thrift stores), but I have been lately because of the membership coupon and now the 30% stamp cards. I’m sorry but if they keep offering stuff like that, for me, the 30% off is worth the extra pain and I don’t want them thinking that the lower sales is due to the new reward program, because I actually like it and it has worked on getting me to shop there more. I used to only go on 50% off days (and instantly regretted it, since it is way too crazy on those days) and when I needed something seasonal. Now I have been able to pick up some kitchen chairs to refinish (a hobby, and with 30% off furnature, you don’t feel so bad in stripping them) and a TON of clothes for everyone in the family… so the discount is worth it to me to keep my mouth shut.

  39. LR says:


    I understand what you mean. The items that are donated can depend on the area and each store is run differently. Ya it’s true some thrift stores can use a good cleaning…lol

    “($7.99 for a pair of Bluenotes jeans that have nary been on someone’s arse is pretty good to me)”…..ahahhahahahahhahahhaha

    “some inevitable dust and their bunny bretheren”…..ahahhaha lol

    True at least VV is quite clean…so you don’t take home some of the critter bretheren.

  40. Pam says:

    Not organized by color in Fredericton NB aymore. what a mess!!

  41. always says:

    Fantastic story, reckoned we’re able to mix several unconnected information, nevertheless well worth looking, whoa performed one learn about Mid Eastern offers more problerms as well.


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