The Salvation Army Thrift Store on Rt. 281 in the town of Cortlandville will be closing its doors on Saturday Aug. 14, however the donation center attached to the store will continue to operate.
According to a news release on the store’s impending closure, the store raises funds to support the offering of local rehabilitation programs through the service office on 138 S. Main St.; but “current circumstances have made supporting these programs through this store impossible.”
“The decision to close the store was not made lightly,” said Maj. Patricia Kurtz, who oversees the thrift store in Cortlandville that opened 13 years ago. “After much review, it seems to be the most responsible choice.”
Stacey Davis, director of marketing and external communications for The Salvation Army’s Empire Division, said the COVID-19 pandemic “wasn’t the sole cause” of the store’s struggles, but “it didn’t help.”
“Keeping an already-struggling location closed for nearly two and a half months absolutely hastened this location’s closure,” Davis said.
Davis noted the store was struggling financially even before the pandemic. She added that expenses were larger than the income.
“Many different changes were made, but a viable solution wasn’t found,” Davis said.
Karen Robinson, a long-time shopper at the thrift store who heard about the closing earlier this month, was disappointed by the decision.
Robinson mentioned she purchased clothing from the thrift store for herself and for her children when they were younger, and continues to buy clothing for her grandson. She also bought clothes for other families who “didn’t have vehicles or the income to do so.”
“I can’t imagine how I would have clothed myself and my family without (the thrift store),” Robinson added, who also said she bought bedding, kitchen supplies, tools and books at the store as well. “This isn’t possible for most of us without stores like this.”
Despite the thrift store closing, the release noted that The Salvation Army will continue to offer assistance for “financial hardship and a variety of other life issues” at the service office in Cortland.
“The thrift store did provide great value to many families in need,” says Maj. Misty Coffelt, who oversees the service office. “Although the store is leaving, The Salvation Army isn’t going anywhere. We’re still absolutely committed to meeting needs by serving this community.”
With the Salvation Army closing in mid-August, Thrifty Shopper will become the only remaining thrift store in the general Cortland area.