WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - It's a fad that's taken over the holidays: Ugly Christmas Sweater parties seem to be a rite-of-passage for those ready to get into the Christmas spirit, and while thrift-shopping for the perfect one may be the most fun way to go about preparing for your holiday bash, there's one store at Jordan Creek Mall whose claimed the unofficial title of "Ugly Christmas Sweater Mecca."
Ragstock is a commercial thrift store, with locations all over the country, and while that may deter some shoppers seeking a more "local" feel from entering its doors, workers argue that could be to their detriment at the next Christmas-themed party.
"We snatch them up from all the thrift stores," said Alexandria Calder, assistant manager at the Jordan Creek Mall location. "We have a few buyers who go around and get all our recycled stuff - from all across the country - and send it to each individual store. So I think we get all the good ones from the thrift stores."
Calder says her store alone gets five pallets per week of "ugly" Christmas sweaters, because shoppers snatch most of them out that quickly. Prices range from $16 to $40, depending on the quality of the sweater, and where it came from.
"The ones thrifted from Wal-Mart are probably the $16 ones," she said.
While some consumers complain Ragstock buys these sweaters at a cheap price at local Goodwill and other thrift stores, then hikes the prices up for a profit, Ragstock workers counter-argue by saying, "Where else can you find this many options in one place?"