SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Salvation Army is closing one of its thrift stores in Springfield. It’s a move the agency says will help it save and raise money for its programs, and better serve its customers.
The West Chestnut family thrift store has closed and everything in it will be taken to the Super Store at Campbell and Sunshine.
Teresa Fielden, a Seymour resident, says she’s been stopping by the Salvation Army Super Store on Campbell and Sunshine for at least 5 years.
“About every time I come into town,” she said. “Good prices and I’m usually looking for something. And I usually find it here.”
She and other customers like Lily Edwards are glad to see the store expand in a way.
“We are here once or twice a week,” said Edwards. “It’s nice to have variety, but I wonder if it will get more packed which might be unpleasant.”
But Major Butch Frost says there’s plenty of room for the inventory coming from the Chestnut location.
“We’d like to see the racks full,” he said.
Right now, he’s asking the community to stop dropping off donations at the Chestnut building. A few items that were dropped off after the doors closed – a couple couches, TV’s and some furniture, have been sitting out there in the rain and became junk.
“We have to pay to haul that off,” Major Frost said.
And saving money is a big reason the thrift stores are consolidating. He says while keeping the doors open the Salvation Army is doing a service to the community, the organization is struggling to profit to support its programs like Harbor House, Frontline and youth programs.
“I’d like to see a surplus of anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000,” he said. “And right now, the [Campbell location], if we’re lucky, we maybe get anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 on this location,” Major Frost said.
Major Frost hopes focusing on one store will help the Salvation Army raise funds for its programs and keep serving its customers.
“We’re at a prime location,” Frost said. “Within the next month we will be setting up new display windows, redoing the carpet, restructuring the whole place,” he said.
And all that is good news for some customers.
“The more stuff the better,” said Fielden.
Major Frost says they are also holding off on accepting donations at the Campbell location for a short period of time to allow employees time to re-arrange and organize all the inventory being brought in from the Chestnut location. That building is now being used as a warehouse and will hopefully be sold in the future.