Charity has super plans for store’s reopening
We are all ready to leap out of lockdown and step into Christmas with extra Sunday opening hours for its high street shops.
The pandemic in March forced us to close all 28 of our fundraising shops until the summer. And when the second English lockdown struck, we had to close them all again.
Now, all but two of its shops will be welcoming bargain hunters from Wednesday, including our Shrewsbury superstore – the largest charity shop in Shropshire.
During the first nationwide lockdown, the superstore had been used as a depot for thousands of donations of clothing and homewares given by the charity’s kind-hearted and generous supporters.
So, a thorough tidy up and deep clean was needed. But by the time the store was ready to reopen in early November, Lockdown II in England started.
Now, after being closed for almost nine months, staff are excitedly looking forward to December 2 when the superstore can finally welcome customers back in.
Our head of retail, Ross Henderson, said: “We really can’t wait. This has been a long time coming and we’ve missed seeing our loyal staff and volunteers and our incredibly generous supporters.
“To have to close all of our shops at the start of the pandemic was a real blow. We began to reopen them slowly, making sure they were all COVID-secure, and the superstore was among the last to reopen.
“The opening had been planned for November 4 but of course, we were unable to do that. It was very disappointing, so we’re really excited to finally be reopening next week.
“During the first lockdown, the superstore was used as a holding and sorting station for all the donations we were so generously given. We’ve spent Lockdown II making sure that everything is just right for our customers and staff.
“We’re so lucky and fortunate to have such amazing supporters and they really have kept our spirits high in recent months.
“We have uncovered some great finds amongst the donations so why not come along when we reopen? You’re bound to find something you love.”
The superstore, which is on Beacalls Lane, will be open from 10am-6pm on December 3 and then from 9am-6pm Monday to Saturday. Sunday trading hours are 10am-4pm.
And it will not be the only shop opening on Sundays.
In the run up to Christmas, our shops in Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Madeley, Newport, Oswestry, Shifnal, Shrewsbury Wyle Cop, Wellington, Welshpool, Whitchurch, Ironbridge, Lawley, Ludlow, Shrewsbury Mardol and Shrewsbury Furniture Store will also be open. It is the first time some of these shops have benefitted from Sunday trading.
Pre-Covid, the 28 shops brought in almost £1million each year.
The spring lockdown removed our ability to raise £100,000 a week and even before the November lockdowns, it was predicted we would end the year with a £500,000 fundraising deficit.
“We were unfortunate to have to shut all of our shops again following the introduction of Lockdown II and the Welsh firebreak. The effects of these, and the pandemic has been terrible for us, so we see the reopening of our shops as a glimmer of hope,” added Ross.
“We’ve had some amazing donations and our shops are the perfect place to pick up some Christmas bargains. It may be cold outside, but you will find a very warm welcome and you can shop safe, shop local and support us.
“Opening more of our shops on a Sunday in the run up to Christmas is a new thing for us and we are confident that it will be a big hit with our customers.”
The final two shops to reopen, in Bishop’s Castle and Monkmoor will resume trading on December 11.