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SATCoL begins phased reopening of shops and clothing banks

Our network of more than 240 charity shops donation centres are set to begin phased reopening as lockdown measures are eased.

The first of the stores to reopen from Monday 15 June will be some of our larger shops and donation centres, with more stores opening in subsequent weeks. Many shops are run by Salvation Army Corps (churches) and these will not start the process of opening until Wednesday 1 July.

Our network of clothing banks are starting to reopen, however, some work remains to clear fly-tipping which was left around the banks during the lockdown. People are reminded to only place donations in clothing banks which have room to accept donations and not to leave items outside.

Chris Jestico, Head of Retail for Salvation Army Trading Company, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming customers and our generous donors back to our stores.

“We are confident our preparations, which exceed Government guidance, will give customers a safe, positive and friendly shopping experience. Shops will reopen in a phased way starting with 13 of our larger sites and then the remainder will gradually follow over the next six to eight weeks.

“Our shops will do all they can to keep to their usual hours, but as they rely on volunteer availability there may be times when opening hours will alter at short notice. We rely heavily on income from our charity shops to run services for vulnerable people. 

“Many people have been having a clear-out at home during lockdown and these goods could help raise funds for our work supporting rough sleepers and stocking our foodbanks which are busier than ever. If you find your local shop is not open yet, please hold on to your donation that bit longer while our colleagues carefully prepare it for reopening. We need your donations but we can’t accept them if they are left outside shops or clothing banks and have to take them to landfill sites.”

To ensure the safety of its customers, staff and volunteers, SATCoL is taking extra steps at all shops to help everyone #staysafe  such as:

  • Limiting the number of people in stores at any one time to comply with social distancing.
  • Hand-sanitising stations for customers, staff and volunteers to use.
  • Extra training for staff and volunteers to ensure social distancing and hygiene measures are observed.
  • PPE protection for staff and volunteers, as well as other safety measures such as hygiene screens at cash desks.
  • Contactless payments, although cash payments will also be accepted and handled via containers.
  • Dedicated donation stations where donations will be left for 72 hours before being sorted and prepared for sale.
  • Donated goods will be cleaned or steamed before being put out for resale.
  • Clear signage to communicate to customers, colleagues and visitors.

For weekly updates regarding stores reopening, please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/salvationarmycharityshops/