Salvation Army closing its Whitehorse thrift store

1 / 3
Salvation Army closing its Whitehorse thrift store

The Salvation Army will permanently close its Whitehorse thrift store next month, saying the business is not sustainable.

The store on Fourth Avenue has been there for years, selling donated goods such as clothing, housewares, books and furniture. 

"Obviously a decision like this is an extremely difficult one to make," said Ian McKenzie, the organization's executive director in Whitehorse, in a news release.

The closure means four full-time employees and eight part-time employees will lose their jobs.

According to McKenzie, the store's operating costs have been exceeding revenues in recent years.  

"We made some effort over the last year to trim those costs, but still not enough to help us to a break-even point, let alone doing anything else," he said.

"We just can't continue to operate in that way, operate a retail establishment in that way."

The store has also been struggling with a growing amount of junk being dropped at its doors. At times over the last year, the store has stopped accepting donations in order to deal with a growing backlog of goods.

"The cost and the time that it takes to sort through the material to decide what is suitable and not suitable really becomes problematic for us," McKenzie said. 

It was a problem seemingly made worse by the closure of the "re-use store" at the city landfill last spring. Both the Salvation Army and Raven Recycling said they were increasingly overwhelmed by unwanted goods.

The Salvation Army thrift store was closed on Wednesday, but planned to re-open on Thursday for a "closing out sale."

The store will close for good on April 12.