Te Awamutu has a good range of charity stores, but there was still disappointment when the main street's Salvation Army Family Store was closed.
The good news is the store is reopening in Te Awamutu, and in a bigger store with hopefully a better location.
Salvation Army corps officer for Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Matamata and Morrinsville, Captain Shaun Baker, says the previous shop struggled to pay its way, so the hard decision to close it was made.
He says generally the stores are a major source of funds for the work of Salvation Army, so running at a loss was not sustainable.
When the opportunity came up to lease the former Movie HQ premises, Shaun and his team decided it was worth reopening in Te Awamutu.
Shaun says one of the big issues the Alexandra St shop faced was parking.
He says the new store is in a golden location near The Warehouse, McDonald's Restaurant and two other charity stores — with plenty of parking.
The second advantage is a bigger store where more stock can be stored and displayed.
The Salvation Army group in this district also run stores in Cambridge and Matamata, managed by Glennis Mullan.
In their experience, having other charity stores nearby isn't a negative, as shoppers will often browse them all looking for bargains.
The Te Awamutu store is being fitted out and stocked ready for opening this Saturday.
Shaun says they kept the shelving from the other store, and have some new fittings and a new purpose built counter built by community workers.
Most of the stock has been brought in from other stores for the opening, but in future it will be stocked through local donations.
The team was interviewing recently to appoint a fulltime store manager and part-time supervisor. They will look after the team of volunteers.
Shaun says the key is the donations and volunteers. People can donate by bringing goods to the store or calling the store number to arrange pick-ups. They sell furniture, bric-a-brac, electrical, books, toys, linen, clothing and housewares.
Volunteers are always needed, so anyone who wants to offer their services can also ring or call in person to leave their details.
Shaun says the Family Store provides benefits to buyers, lets people help their community by volunteering or donating and profits are used for doing good work in the community.
"We are excited to be back in Te Awamutu," he says.
Te Awamutu Salvation Army Family Store, 170/15 George St, ph 871 3695.