Habitat for Humanity seeks to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Proceeds from sales provide financial support for Habitat for Humanity’s mission while promoting and facilitating reuse and recycling to reduce our community’s waste stream.

The Challenge

Although low-income and economically vulnerable consumers represent a huge and growing market, these individuals are often stigmatized by retailers. Shopping for affordable quality products, particularly in the basic home maintenance category, often comes with the disparity of a low-quality/inferior shopping experience. At the same time, in Detroit, where 42.3% of the population lives below poverty level, urban blight and material waste permeate the community. In Michigan, approximately $435 million worth of reusable materials annually goes to landfills.

By integrating innovative approaches to retail design, customer education, and waste reduction, Habitat for Humanity is ideally positioned to provide low-income shoppers unfettered access to quality home maintenance goods, positively impact the environment, expand its market reach, and provide critical skill-based programming to homeowners and occupants. In addition to environmentally mindful redistribution of goods, the management of the goods may create avenues for workforce development, volunteerism and empowerment in the metro-Detroit community.

In order to achieve the full potential of the ReStore model, Habitat recognized the need to re-brand and re-launch the concept in Detroit.

How we Helped

After thorough market and operational analysis, Mission Throttle prepared a business plan for a rebrand of Habitat for Humanity Detroit’s ReStore that included private sector best-practices of scale, operational excellence and management, and pro forma financials.  The plan provides strategic direction for the organization and a compelling vision to attract community partners and potential investors.

The vision for Habitat for Humanity Detroit’s ReStores is a hub that supports and promotes socially just, economically sound home ownership. Habitat for Humanity is in a unique position to not only provide its customers with access to quality furnishings and supplies, but with important skills to maintain and beautify their homes.

Our Impact

As a result of our work, Habitat for Humanity Detroit has a plan to rebrand its Restores, increase unrestricted revenue, and divert 93 tons of waste annually from landfills. The plan also provides a platform that unifies the affiliate by connecting their retail operation to their mission.