The Heights

In photos: Memphis gets thrifty on Summer Avenue

Pushing through the crowded aisles, hunting for just the right item at just the right price, finding a hidden treasure long forgotten — thrift store shopping is a unique and popular thrill that will amount to a $14 billion industry in 2018. 

For decades Summer Avenue near National Street has been a destination for antiquing, wholesalers, and thrift store shopping in Memphis. It's currently home to Mid-South Outlet, Summer Outlet, Memphis Wholesale and Import, Todd's Auction Services, Buried Treasures Specialty Store, Jun Lee Trading Company, Chip N' Dale's Antique Mall, and more. In recent years, popular favorites like like the Disable Veterans Thrift Store and Thrift Citi have closed or relocated, but the industry remains strong. 

Photographer Natalie Eddings explored a few of the area's most popular locations for an intimate look at the chaos and beauty of thrifting in The Heights. 


The exterior of the Summer Outlet thrift store at 3466 Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
Piles of old technology at Summer Outlet thrift store, 3466 Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
A customer looks around the store as he speaks with the owner of the Summer Outlet thrift store. (Natalie Eddings)
Records and trinkets for sale at the Summer Outlet thrift store. (Natalie Eddings)
All Sales Final" marks the check-out in the jewelry section of the Mid-South Outlet thrift store. (Natalie Eddings)
Shoes for sale at the Mid-South Outlet, 3432 Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
Shoppers in the women's section of the Mid-South Outlet thrift store. (Natalie Eddings)
Old television sets at the Mid-South Outlet thrift store, 3432 Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
The jewelry section of the Mid-South Outlet thrift store. (Natalie Eddings)
Wired appliances hang in front of a window at the Summer Outlet thrift store. (Natalie Eddings)
The view of Summer Avenue outside a window at the Mid-South Outlet. (Natalie Eddings)
Window display of the Repeat Boutique of the Junior League of Memphis, 3586 Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
A conversation at the Mattress Shop & Unique Finds on Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
Weddings dresses and casual wear for sale at the Repeat Boutique of the Junior League of Memphis, 3586 Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
Stacks of hangers the Repeat Boutique of the Junior League of Memphis, 3586 Summer Avenue. (Natalie Eddings)
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