The West Chester Twp. Salvation Army Family Thrift Store, 7900 Tylersville Road, will not reopen and will close permanently. Retail stores can re-start in-person business on Tuesday, but this store will not be among them. They had been open in the township for seven years. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Salvation Army to close West Chester store, makes other changes through coronavirus struggles

Salvation Army thrift store was to close, but coronavirus moved up timeline

Nonprofits like the Salvation Army have taken a hit across the state and nation due to COVID-19. And America’s charities are “frontline responders” providing food, shelter, medical services and other services to those in need, according to the National Council of Nonprofits.

In March, the council said it anticipated contributions to decrease, just as in the 2008 Great Recession. With lower donations and no retail stores to supplement the Salvation Army’s mission, the organization has laid off some staff and reduced services.

CORONAVIRUS: ‘We’re trying to help everybody’: Retailers all over Butler County changing to make hand sanitizer

“America’s charitable nonprofits and the people we serve face a precipitous decline in mission services at a time when our efforts are needed like never before by the most vulnerable in our communities,” the Salvation Army said in a statement.

Salvation Army Capt. Kenneth Cleveland, who oversees the Salvation Army Family Thrift Store in West Chester Twp., said it’s been “really hard” on the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Just like other businesses and nonprofits have had to close because of the stay-at-home order, it really has put a damper on things,” he said.

In addition to the temporary closure of all of its retail thrift stores, many employees have been temporarily laid off, and some of those may end up being permanent layoffs, he said.

Cleveland said the Salvation Army will continue to serve the community. He said services will still be provided to those in need, but they will need to contact the Salvation Army office in Norwood or Cincinnati or connect online at swo.salvationarmy.org.

West Chester Twp. may not be without a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store for long.

“My goal is at least is to try to find something in the West Chester area that can still service the community, but in a better location,” Cleveland said.

LOCAL NEWS: Middletown approves disputed move of airport’s skydiving landing zone

The dropbox will remain open until the Tylersville building is sold, which could take up to a year. Donations will be distributed to the other Salvation Army Family Thrift Store locations in Norwood, Eastgate and Delhi Twp.

Cleveland said signs at the Tylersville location that say “no donations accepted” will be changed.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t force the Salvation Army to close the Tylersville Road location but only moved up the timeline, he said. Cleveland said the store had been underperforming for various reasons, including poor visibility from the road and other shopping destinations nearby.

“West Chester Twp. is a great community, and they’ve been supportive as far as donations — we get great donations,” he said. “The problem is that particular store is not at a good location because the customer count is not great, and unfortunately, we have seen a decline in sales in the last couple of years.”

Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X