The Salvation Army Thrift Store located at 2901 S. Catalpa Street in Pine Bluff is in need of household items to restock its depleted inventory, according to store manager Marcie Ford.
“We need pretty much everything,” Ford said. “We need clothing, shoes, household items, knickknacks, furniture and mattresses. We’ve built up quite a customer base and we sell pretty much everything that we put out on the floor.”
Ford said anyone wishing to drop off donations should pull into the back of the building and honk their horn.
“One of our people will come out and help them unload and provide them with a tax receipt if they want one,” Ford said.
Salvation Army Captain David Robinson said the sale of Thrift Store items is a major source of income for the organization’s charitable work.
“The money raised goes to help us do what we need to do here,” Robinson said. “The need for social services and requests for assistance with utilities and rent payments and things like that have gone through the roof. So we’re looking for any donations that people have.”
Robinson said that clothing items that don’t sell after one month are bundled together for sale to rag dealers.
“Every item we put on the floor has a color-coded tag,” Robinson said. “Each week a new color tag is added showing how much the price is marked down. If it doesn’t sell after a month we add it to the rag pile. We have our own 1,000-pound baler that we use for the rags. Rag dealers from all over call us and we try to take the highest bidder. We ship out a load of rags about once every quarter.”
Robinson said the continued strong demand by patrons has created the problem of insufficient supply.
“Our sales have been high but that means you go through a lot of clothes,” Robinson said. “We’re also selling furniture and electronic items. Our daily sales in the past three or four months have increased between $750 and $1,000. We have been very blessed. We probably sell between $200 and $300 worth of bric-a-brac every day and that takes a lot of bric-a-brac. Most of it is priced $1 at the most.”
Robinson said part of the reason for the continued high demand for items is the attitude and demeanor of the store staff.
“We have people from all walks of life and many who come from a long ways off,” Robinson said. “It’s because of the way Marcie and her staff treat people. It’s just an awesome thing. We have other thrift stores around the state call us and ask if we have special sales to get so many people in and we tell them no. We say that it’s just having a core group of people that come back in some cases day after day to see what deals they can find here. We may run low on items like we have right now but it’s a pretty good problem to have.”