Plymouth’s Interfaith Outreach Adjusts Resale Store Operations
For more than two months, the task of bringing unwanted items to thrift stores was off the table due to COVID-19 and the governor’s stay-at-home order.
“I had a spare bedroom where everything was thrown,” said Rosemarie Finnegan of Plymouth. “I finally cleaned it up. Felt good about it.”
Rosemarie Finnegan had the chance on Friday to donate old clothing to Interfaith Outreach in Plymouth. She’s one of many doing the same thing.
“Since the pandemic hit, there have been a lot of people cleaning out closets and really wanting to give some of their things back to the community,” said Deb Lande, spokesperson for Interfaith Outreach.
Interfaith Outreach’s Resale Select store reopened June 1, but things now operate much differently than they did before the pandemic.
“So we’re being real careful,” Lande said. “We’re practicing social distancing, but we’re offering a by-appointment function so people can start shopping again.”
For now, gone are the days of simply going inside the store and shopping during regular business hours. The same goes for dropping things off at your convenience.
Donations can only happen Mondays and Fridays, while shopping in-person can only happen Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment.
The preference, however, is for customers to shop online.
“They’re not really used to shopping online with us. They’re used to coming physically into the store,” Lande said. “So I would say, we haven’t seen more sales. We would love to see an increase in sales on our online shopping experience.”
Lande says those sales are important for the overall health of the organization. The Resale Select store usually brings about $500,000 to Interfaith Outreach every year.
“And so not raising that $500,000 with this resource, with this revenue stream, will definitely affect Interfaith Outreach’s bottom line,” she said.
The hope is that shoppers will be attracted to their selection of new and “like-new” items.
Finnegan is happy to do her part.
“It’s a great place. I love the people here. They’re all friendly,” Finnegan said.