The Salvation Army Family Thrift Store in Branson is closing its doors for good next month.
Branson Salvation Army Capt. Linda McCormick announced that she’s been told by the Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters that they are closing the thrift store.
“It’s been struggling for several years, unfortunately. We have so much competition between other thrift stores and online,” said McCormick. “At the end of the day, there’s just so much competition, and with minimum wage going up, utilities and everything constantly going up, its just killing us. Unfortunately, that’s just affected the bottom line, and we have to look at it as a business, and any business that’s not making money is not going to survive. COVID did not help in any of this.”
McCormick said, while this is sad news, they are looking upon it as a new opportunity from God.
“We are going to look at it like God has something new he is preparing us for, ministry-wise, and income wise. I don’t know what else to say other than I’m really sad that it is closing,” McCormick said. “I’m going to try and see if we could collaborate with somebody else in town for the vouchers that we do. But for now, we just need to do what we need to do to close it up.”
While the closing won’t be effective immediately, it is just around the corner. The currently scheduled last day for the store to be open will be Friday, Dec. 11.
“We’re trying to sell everything we can right now and get it out of the store,” said McCormick. “I’d say by the end of the second week in December, we will be permanently closed and working on cleaning the building and getting out the fixtures and stuff that we need to remove.”
As they prepare to close up shop for good, McCormick said they are offering closeout prices to their customers to unload all their current inventory.
“Right now, we are at 75% off everything. I just need to get product out the door. I will not be doing any other deals, because 75% off seems pretty fair to me,” McCormick said. “If you don’t want to pay 75% off, then I guess you don’t want it that bad. Because I still have to pay my employees, and I still have to pay rent until we’re out.”
McCormick also said it doesn’t escape her that the closing of the store will be a hit to the community, including her three current employees.
“We just can’t continue in the way that we’re going. Thrift stores are not a retail store. You can’t price like a retail store. When you have the minimum wage going up like it is, and you have everything else going up, it just became unviable,” McCormick said. “I feel really bad that my employees are going to be out of work at the worst time of the year for Branson, but I’m trying to steer them in other directions so that they can get a job.”
As the thrift store will no longer be accepting donations, McCormick said she would like to encourage people to still donate items to other thrift stores in town.
“I definitely thank the community. We will continue to seek out God’s plan and how we can better serve Branson,” said McCormick. “Honestly, I would say thank you to Branson for all their support while we were here doing that ministry. The church is here. Our ministry will stay here. It’s not like The Salvation Army, in general, is closing. I want to make that very clear.”
The Branson Salvation Army Family Thrift Store, which has served the Branson area for approximately a decade, is not the only Salvation Army Thrift Store closing. McCormick said she’s seeing closures throughout the state of Missouri.
The building used for the thrift store is not owned by the Branson Salvation Army, and their lease on the retail space will be up on Dec. 31.
The Branson Salvation Army Family Thrift Store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 417-337-8269 or visit salvationarmybranson.com for additional information.