Fresh paint, new flooring and a store full of smoke-free merchandise filled the reopened Thrift City store downtown Monday.
Run by the New Life Mission, executive director Stan Dueck said there were people actually waiting for the doors to open Monday morning — the first time in 2 1/2 months.
Thrift City closed after a Sept. 23 fire on the outside of the building. Smoke and water damage were the biggest problems inside and all the store’s goods had to go.
The fire-related repairs and emptied space created a chance to give the store interior a new paint job and clean up some peeling wallpaper, he said.
“We thought it would be a couple of weeks.” Instead, it took 2 ½ months, Dueck said.
The upgraded space is fresher and better organized and there’s a whole new stock of goods for sale.
“A lot of people have just been waiting for us to open,” said Dueck, as Santa Claus wandered through the shop greeting customers.
Some customers were looking over the Christmas decorations while others were perusing racks of clothing or the furniture.
Dueck said staff are careful about making sure all the goods in the store are clean, without tears or stains.
The closure has cost the mission, however. He estimated the store brings in about $1,200 a day — so at least $75,000 in sales has been lost.
Thrift City doesn’t just help fund the mission’s programs, it’s also a place where some of the clients can get training.