Sales Will Accompany Close Out
SEVCA’s Board of Directors recently made the difficult decision to close its “Good Buy” Thrift Store at the White River Junction Recycling Center and consolidate its operations with the “Good Buy” store at 676 Hartford Ave., which will remain open for business. Despite SEVCA’s best efforts to keep the Recycling Center store open, which included expanding into additional space provided by the town on a 6-month trial basis, revenues were not sufficient to sustain operations. The last day this store will be open is Saturday, January 23.
The sustainability of the Recycling Center store has been challenged by a variety of factors. Since curbside recycling was introduced, fewer people visited the Recycling Center, which cut down on customer traffic considerably. In addition, the location is not accessible by public transportation and is no longer a stop on the Wednesday senior bus route. It has also become clear that the local market is not strong enough to support two thrift stores in close proximity to one another—SEVCA’s two stores are only seven miles apart. Consolidating SEVCA’s thrift store operations at its larger, higher volume, and more accessible Hartford Avenue location simply made good business sense.
To thank the community for its longstanding support of SEVCA’s Good Buy Stores at both locations, the organization is holding a 4-week sales event. From January 16 through January 23, all items at the Recycling Center site will be sold at a 20% discount. After that site closes, customers will receive discounts at the Hartford Avenue Good Buy Store. From January 25-30, customers will get a 20% discount on their purchases at that site; then for the week of February 1-6 the discount will be 15%; and finally, from February 8-13 all customers will receive a 10% discount.
SEVCA Executive Director Steve Geller expressed SEVCA’s continuing commitment to serving White River Junction and the Upper Valley community at the Hartford Ave. store, saying, “We have greatly appreciated the town’s help in our effort to keep the Recycling Center store open, but it is now clear we need to ‘right-size’ the business to ensure the long-term sustainability of our thrift stores and thus preserve this affordable source of clothing, furniture, and household goods to meet the community’s needs. We regret any inconvenience to our loyal customers, and urge everyone to visit our Hartford Ave. store.”
The closing of the Recycling Center store will affect three part-time employees. SEVCA is committed to working with the dislocated employees to help them obtain unemployment compensation and identify suitable opportunities to enable them to make a successful transition to new jobs.
The “Good Buy” Thrift Stores are part of SEVCA’s multi-pronged strategy to combat poverty in Southeastern Vermont. In the past year, SEVCA served over 10,000 people in Windham and Windsor counties through a range of programs such as crisis fuel assistance, homelessness prevention, weatherization, home repair, business start-up and support, job readiness and skills training, financial fitness, asset building, Head Start, food stamp outreach, access to affordable health care, budgeting/savings, and information & referral, as well as the thrift stores. Not only do the stores offer products that meet people’s basic needs at very low prices on a daily basis, they often provide those items free of charge to households experiencing especially difficult crises. In addition to assisting its own clients, SEVCA has a strong partnership with The Upper Valley Haven, providing free clothing and household goods to help the homeless families they serve to get back on their feet.