As of July 31, the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Main Street in Smithers will no longer exist.
“The decision to close the store did not come easily, and we are deeply saddened,” said Lieutenant Rick Apperson. “Several factors played into our decision, but at the end of the day it boiled down to finances. We simply cannot afford to keep operating the store, while serving the community effectively.”
A press release dated July 13 cited several factors including a decline in foot traffic and changes in the local economy due to the pandemic, which resulted in significant drops in revenue.
“In order to continue having a presence in the community in other ways, such as the food bank, drop-in centre, soup kitchen, Feeding the Lamb program, and spiritual care it was a necessary business decision, the release stated.
“Right now, our focus is going to be on our people,” Apperson said. “We need to ensure they are taken care of because they’ve served this community diligently for years. With the leadership of our community supervisor, Kelly Spurway, we will also continue to focus on serving those in the community who need our help.”
This week, the store will be offering 50 per cent on all clothing and its final week will see everything in the store discounted 50 per cent.
“I would like to thank the community for years of dedicated patronage and support,” Apperson said. “We can only do the work we do, because of their ongoing support. And while this is a sad occasion, we can look to the future with optimism because we are going to continue to operate and serve this great community, and are making plans to expand programs.”
The Salvation Army operated the Smithers store for 20 years.