LIHUE — “You guys are open, awesome.”
With those words, another customer entered the Salvation Army’s thrift store on Friday morning. Word spread quickly about the new shop on Hardy Street next to the organization’s Kauai headquarters.
While it’s a much smaller version of its Rice Street store that closed in October, the cozier thrift store offers great promise, said Lt. Bill Simon, Kauai County Coordinator and Corps Officer for The Salvation Army Lihue Corps.
“I think we’ll do great,” Simon said.
At about 1,000 square feet, the location comes nowhere close to the thrift store on Rice Street of more than 20,000 square feet that was sold. But it still features clothes, shoes, household items, DVDs, CDs, sporting goods and other unusual knickknacks. Just not as many, which can be good.
“It’s manageable,” Simon said.
He noted that due to its limited scope in operations, volunteers can more easily step in, which they did.
“Right now, we have volunteers helping out,” he said.
It was a festive atmosphere Friday. Clothes were 50 percent off and miscellaneous items were 70 percent off, with those sales continuing to next week.
The first 10 customers when doors opened received a gift bag including $35 in gift cards for several local businesses and a selection of baked goods from The Salvation Army’s Lihue Corps Women’s Ministry.
People were searching for deals and found them. One visitor from California said she heard about the thrift store and found a pair of sandals, which she plans to use on her weeklong stay on Kauai.
The store will operate daily Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Simon said that by supporting Salvation Army thrift stores in both Lihue and Hanapepe, customers help support their social outreach programs across the island.
The Salvation Army – Hawaiian &Pacific Islands Division covers the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands including Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands and The Federated States of Micronesia.
The division offers a programs throughout the islands including adult day health services affordable senior housing, at-risk youth services and housing and homeless services.
While it would be nice to have more space, Simon said the store at 4182 Hardy will do well and he expects it to attract a following of shoppers thanks to a great location and community connection.
“This is what we have and this is what we’re going to use,” he said.
Donations are needed and can be dropped off during regular hours or left at the donation bin outside the front door.