Shoppers in Huntingdon flocked to the new Salvation Army Trading Company charity shop at 126 High Street on Tuesday 17th November as it opened its doors to the public for the first time.
The opening ceremony was a huge success, with a crowd of shoppers queuing outside, eager to be among the first to grab a bargain. The Salvation Army’s Major Muriel McClenahan gave a blessing and cut the ribbon to officially open the new shop alongside Councillor Bill Hensley, the Mayor of Huntingdon.
Councillor Hensley commented: “I’m delighted to help support the important work of The Salvation Army. The new high street charity shop is going to be a great addition to Huntingdon – I’m sure the community will enjoy it for many years to come. The shop has a wonderful atmosphere already and it was a pleasure to meet the friendly team of staff and volunteers.”
Area Manager, Elaine Sanderson, was thrilled to see so many members of the local community showing their support at the shop opening: “It was fantastic to see the shop so busy on its first day of trading and we were touched by all the kind comments we received about our staff and range of stock. We’d had a fantastic designer Aspinal of London handbag donated to us ahead of the opening – this would retail at around £400! We’re really pleased to be establishing a stronger presence for The Salvation Army in Huntingdon, and we’d also like to thank the Mayor for helping us officially open the new shop.”
Elaine continued: “We are looking for volunteers at the shop and we’d like to encourage anybody interested to pop in and talk to our friendly staff. There are lots of tasks to get involved with, including steaming and hanging clothes, ticketing and coding and we provide training on all aspects of the work. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers, so if you think you can spare any time at all, from a few hours to a few days a week, please do get in touch.
“We are always grateful to accept donations from the public, whether it’s clothes, shoes, accessories or homewares. We only ask that items are clean and in good condition.”
Profit from the sale of donated clothing contributes to the valuable welfare work of The Salvation Army, including homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales, a Family Tracing Service and much, much more. Over the last five years alone SATCoL has donated over £35 million to The Salvation Army.
Customers visiting the new shop will be offered one of SATCoL’s innovative loyalty cards. The free ‘re:ward’ card rewards customers each time they spend £5 in the shop or donate their unwanted items using one of the shop’s reuseable ‘re:bags’. Each time a customer spends £5, one side of their re:ward card will be stamped, with 10 stamps entitling them to a £5 credit to spend in the shop. On the other side of the card is the reward scheme for donations, which works in conjunction with a re:bag – a reusable black, white and red bag that can be bought at the shop for 99p. Each time a re:bag is brought into the store full of donations, a stamp to the value of £2 will be given.