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Easing restrictions see some Salvos Stores re-open

18 May 2020

Easing restrictions see some Salvos Stores re-open

As coronavirus restrictions start to ease across Australia, Salvos Stores is re-opening at several locations under strict social distancing restrictions.

Opening doors at an initial 78 locations across the country on Monday 11 May, Salvos Stores will once again be the destination to donate and find quality items as well as accessing community support. In some states and territories, Salvation Army Thrift and Family Stores have also re-opened.

“Salvos Stores plays a vital role in our communities by ensuring our customers have access to great quality items at reasonable prices, as well as providing support for the most vulnerable in our community,” said National Director, Matt Davis in a statement released by Salvos Stores.

“With winter approaching, we want to ensure our community has access to the items they need.”

To ensure team members, customers and donors protected as much as possible, additional safety precautions are being put in place. This includes, increased cleaning; requesting contactless payment (where possible); the installation of protective shields at counters; the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all team members; hand sanitising stations at store entrances; and the holding of all donations for 72 hours before processing for sale.

The first stores to be opened will be monitored as part of a staged re-opening process across the country.

Boost in online sales

Salvos Stores made the decision to close to the public from 1 April due to COVID-19. Since then, it has adapted to the challenging circumstances and launched a revamped online shop that enables individual stores across the country to list items for sale.

Aife O’Loughlin, Salvos Stores Customer Experience Manager, said the response from the community has been overwhelmingly supportive. “We sent out communications to our Club card-holders that the store was open and within an hour and a half we had hundreds of orders come through.”

She said the upgraded online store had been planned for some time, but the COVID-19 restrictions and closures made the roll-out more important than ever. While physical shops begin to reopen, the online store will continue to be a strong complementary offering, giving anyone the ability to op-shop from their couch!

“It’s a great way to introduce people to op-shopping who have never op-shopped before. You can search by what you’re looking for and there are various filters.

“We now have over 30 stores that are listing new items every day and this will continue to grow.”

In the weeks before Mother’s Day, Salvos Stores promoted the sale of a Mother’s Day Hamper which enabled people to gift their mum and their community at the same time.

“Our Mother’s Day packs were a huge success,” said Aife. “We sold out of them twice! We were absolutely blown away and grateful for the support of the Australian public.”

The sale of more than 300 hampers enabled the Salvos Stores team to continue contributing to the mission of The Salvation Army while stores were closed.

“It was [also] really great to see the messaging around those hampers – it was more than just a gift for your mum, it was a gift for your community and that really resonated.

“We created awareness that everything you buy at Salvos Stores has a significant impact.”

Visit Salvos Stores COVID-19 update to find locations that are now open.

To shop online for bargains all over the country, head to Salvos Stores.

A version of this article first appeared in The Salvation Army’s online magazine

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