The Dalles Salvation Army Thrift Store reopened at noon last Friday, with a ribbon cutting ceremony provided by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, and plenty of eager shoppers on hand to celebrate a remodel.

“Our thrift store make-over took three weeks, instead of the planned two,” said Salvation offical Lt. John Carenas.

“We wanted to do things right, and we felt it was necessary to go the extra effort to make things really look nice,” Carenas said.

The biggest change for the thrift store was moving all of the retail merchandise to the ground floor, instead of maintaining retail on two floors.

“One of the main comments I heard from customers was that they did not know we had an upstairs section. It wasn’t obvious, and the elevator access was hidden away in the back room,” Carenas said.

Now, the upstairs will be used for sorting, processing and getting items ready for sale.

The downstairs has a more open feel — a wall that surrounded the cash register area is gone, and new shelving and lighting make shopping easier.

Carenas said that the store would like to present higher quality items, but still make shopping an affordable experience.

“Our thrift store is all about funding our community programs. We have hardship vouchers so people can get household items if they’re moving into an apartment, for instance,” Carenas said.

Other programs include Back to School, and Shop for a Hero, which the thrift store is making it easier for people in South Wasco County to sign up for, Carenas said.

“Eventually one of our goals is to fund a mobile social service unit,” Carenas said.

The thrift store, located at 623 E 3rd St, is open Mon-Sat., 9-5 p.m.

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