The Salvation Army’s thrift store in Glenville — closed since November for renovations — will reopen at 9 a.m. Saturday.
On Tuesday, sales clerks placed price tags on shirts and shorts, moved clothes racks and cleaned the new front counter. Outside, two men installed a red metal roof on the front of the cream-and-brown building at 282 Saratoga Road.
Capt. H. Don Sanderson, administrator of the Salvation Army’s adult rehabilitation center in Albany and chief of the nine Salvation Army stores in the organization’s Capital Region territory, said repairs were deemed necessary last fall.
“The condition of the building was beginning to deteriorate,” Sanderson said. “We decided the most prudent thing to do was just do a complete interior and exterior remodel and make
the building more attractive, safe and watertight.”
Sanderson refused to say exactly how much the renovations cost, but described the money spent as a “boatload.”
“The roof has been repaired. We’re getting a new roof, I think, in about two weeks,” he said. “We’ve got all brand-new windows and doors, new floors. We’ve re-done the interior of the store. We took out a wall and expanded the store back. We’ve had pretty much a complete renovation-restoration of the electrical system, all new high-efficiency lighting, brand-new ceiling, brand-new everything.”
Wide red and blue stripes — representing two of the Army’s three colors — have been painted on the tops of walls around the store.
Sanderson hopes the changes will pay off in increased patronage. And increased appreciation.
“We are trying to dispel that old image, that we so well earned, of old junk shops — dark, cluttered, mom-and-pop junk shops,” Sanderson said. “We’re going to be bigger and brighter, more like a big-box store feel. I don’t want people digging through stuff. That’s not the way it should be. They should be able to see it. It should be well-organized. Our staff should be well-versed in where everything is.”
At about 15,000 square feet, the Glenville store is one of the Salvation Army’s medium-sized family shopping stores. “We have stores as big as 26,000 square feet and as small as 9,000 square feet,” Sanderson said.
“The community here really supports the store and conversely, the store helps to support the community by giving people a place to shop at discounted rates and finding good stuff,” he said.
Included in the “good stuff” are hand-held hair dryers for $4.99, a portable heater for $14.99, toy racing trucks and basketballs in original packaging and sweaters, shoes, pants, blazers and blouses that range mostly from $1.99 to $9.99.
Sanderson said about 100 people shop at the store on most days. On Wednesdays, when merchandise is half-price, up to 300 will visit. Saturdays are also busy times.
The Army needs that constant customer stream.
“We turn donated goods into income, which helps us to run the programs of the Salvation Army,” Sanderson said. “That’s how we finance the programs of the Salvation Army, along with outside contributions, people contributing at Christmastime and whatnot. But the stores are a very good financial base, particularly for the adult rehabilitation centers, which are located throughout the territory.”
Sanderson would not disclose how much revenue the Glenville store generates each year.
He added that product inventory has grown during the seven months the Glenville store has been closed, so shoppers at the reopening will have plenty of choices. Many items have never been used.
“Everywhere you look, the tags say brand-new, brand-new, brand-new,” Sanderson said.