A Greater Victoria volunteer organization is closing two of its stores indefinitely.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Vancouver Island has decided to close its Sooke and Central Saanich retail locations effective immediately. The thrift shop in Sooke has been operating for over 25 years since 1993 and the society has operated on the Island for more than 100 years.
“We’re not exempt from the challenges of the retail sector during a time like this [pandemic],” said Angela Hudson, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Vancouver Island.
“We look forward to continuing to serve the community with different organizations in Sooke, but with the way we ran our donation process, we couldn’t make it work.”
Hudson said the Vancouver Island locations have been quarantining donated items for three days before sorting and transferring them to the rack.
With limited staff and only two Greater Victoria locations re-opened since July, the executive director said it was a difficult decision to close its Sooke location, but a strong choice was needed to move forward.
St. Vincent de Paul’s 9,000-square-foot warehouse in Central Saanich used to hold donations is the second location that will also be shutting down.
The organization is keeping its Langford and Victoria stores open Monday through Saturday, but with reduced hours as staff will be disinfecting the stores before and after each shift.
The society pointed out that all customers will be required to wear masks while at their stores.
“We’re so thankful for the store staff and volunteers, and we’re committed to our presence in Sooke,” said Hudson. “We’re just figuring out how best to do that.”
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