HOULTON, Maine — The Salvation Army Thrift Store loves its new space and so do its customers.
“It has doubled our customer base, and the foot traffic is great,” said store manager Vicki Goodall. “We have all our regular customers, and we’re seeing so many new faces now becoming regulars. They’re becoming our friends now, too.”
“We just love it here,” she said.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store moved its massive inventory this spring, changing over from a location on Pleasant Street to its new site on Main Street. The facility opened at its new location, the former JEI Sports/Netherland Office Products building, on May 30.
This new store is more than just another move. For a business that’s seen many locations over the years, buying this building feels like coming home, Goodall said.
“The Salvation Army really wanted to show the community how committed we were,” she said. “It’s always been our dream to have a permanent location.”
This storefront, with its giant display windows, seems to be a perfect fit.
“It’s a bright, well-lit space,” Goodall said. “We [the employees] really enjoy it, and our customers seem to really enjoy it, too.”
Goodall said that even their donations have picked with the new site.
“Our customers are so loyal,” she said. “It seems like everybody who comes through the door brings something with them. And we still have a lot of items in storage from our move that we’re working on bringing out.”
Plans are to add more shelving and a dedicated toy area — all with a rustic theme. Goodall’s husband Thom has been helping build some of those units in his spare time.
“It’s a thrift store, so we’re trying to be thrifty,” Goodall added with a grin. “We’re going to reuse and repurpose barn board around the store.”
Salvation Army Capt. Frank Nataluk said they’re planning to do more overall work to the building, as well. He added that the store plays a big role in supporting work the Salvation Army does.
“We’re excited to invest in downtown Houlton with this new store,” he said. “We’re here to stay.”
The Salvation Army Thrift Store, located at 65 Main St., is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call the store at 521-0230 or visit the Salvation Army Facebook page.