The sound of wire hangers scraping metal racks filled the air during the recent grand opening of the Savers thrift store in Fountain Valley.
Hundreds of eager shoppers waited in line for the July 10 opening. They wanted to get their hands on secondhand goods, many in good condition, at just a fraction of the original costs.
The 36,000-square-foot space on the northeast corner of Garfield Avenue and Magnolia Street formerly housed a Ralphs supermarket, but it's now home to the seventh Savers store in Southern California, the third in Orange County.
Coincidentally, it is the second Savers at that intersection. The first incarnation of the store stood on the Huntington Beach side, on the southeast corner next to a Kmart, but both businesses were torn down about 12 years ago to make way for Home Depot.
"This is much better, nicer, cleaner and more organized," said resident Janis Devries. "It's nice to have something here and not an empty building like we had before."
Devries, 55, of Fountain Valley, had a cart full of clothes, including a floral-print Talbots skirt for $5.99, which she had seen at another store for $50.
Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, who had attended the opening, recalled that he and his friends used to shop at Savers in high school.
"You can get a lot of really cool stuff for really good value, especially when you have a high school student's budget or a college budget," he said.
Savers is similar to the Assistance League of Huntington Beach's thrift store off Slater Avenue. Both carry an array of clothing, kitchenware, electronics and other donated items, but Savers sells on a larger scale and has a layout reminiscent of a Marshalls or T.J. Maxx.
Portions of the proceeds collected by Savers are donated to charity. Assistance League proceeds also benefit philanthropic projects.
Savers store manager Debi Beckstead has chosen to aid the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.
About 30,000 families in Orange County and about 3 million people in the United States are affected by the condition, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.
"It's the most common neurological disorder," said Patricia Leyva, a program manager with the nonprofit. "You can combine Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy together, and epilepsy still supersedes them. It's not something you can see, so people don't know about it."
If You Go
What: Savers Thrift Store
Where: 9091 Garfield Ave., Fountain Valley
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays