Salvation Army resurrects thrift store

The Salvation Army is planning to open a thrift shop in Charlottetown, despite having to shut down an outlet in the P.E.I. capital five years ago.

Charlottetown shop to reopen 5 years after it closed

The Salvation Army plans to open a thrift shop in Charlottetown, five years after shutting down an outlet in the P.E.I. capital.

The Christian charity said it believes there is a demand for a second-hand store providing affordable clothing and other goods.

"We've been reviewing the ministry here in Charlottetown in a number of different ways and one of the things that kept coming up was the need, really, for a thrift store," said Ian Scott, a Salvation Army lieutenant.

He said the organization already has used goods and knows people who need them, so he's confident the store will do well. 

The Salvation Army is preparing a 4,000-square-foot warehouse for an opening by Christmas.

Not for waste disposal

The last Salvation Army thrift shop closed in part because it was inundated by Islanders using the shop as a junk depot to avoid paying for waste disposal.

"We'd obviously like to try to limit the garbage, because we have to pay disposal fees just like anyone else," Scott said.

The new store will have competition. Value Village collects used clothing on P.E.I. through its collection boxes, and the Salvation Army shop will be across the street from a second-hand store called Froggies.

Jennifer Ford, a part-owner of Froggies, said she is happy to see the Salvation Army operation return.

"We missed them when they left," she said. "The community missed them. It's good to have a little bit of competition."

The shops take different approaches so won't be direct rivals, Ford said.

"We don't take clothing from the community," she said. "We have to turn a lot of people away. It'd be nice to finally send them to a charity, because we're not a charity."

Scott said the thrift store's work will radiate into the wider community.

"We try to focus all of the profits generated back into the community that we're a part of," Scott said. "Things that happen here at the thrift store are directly related to things that happen at the church, directly related to things that happen at family services, and we all sort of inter-support one another."