City’s Methodist goodwill store closes
A lack of foot traffic and high costs have forced Methodist Social Services to close one of its Palmerston North goodwill stores.
Goodwill store manager Lyal Brenton said it was sad to see the Waldegrave St store empty after it initially brimmed with affordable goods.
It opened in January 2015, as the organisation’s third branch in the city, but Brenton said a mixture of high costs, competition and reduced foot traffic saw it close its doors earlier this year.
‘‘Some services, I think, are struggling a bit. We are all just trying to keep ourselves going.’’
The two paid staff at Waldegrave St have been retained in other parts of the organisation, he said.
Methodist Social Services still has two other stores. Its Highbury store has been running for more than 40 years, while Main St Goodwill has been open for about six years.
Brenton said there was a need for charity stores in the Manawatu community, especially since there were many people who struggled to buy new items.
He said opening the Waldegrave store was a good business venture at the time, but a combination of factors meant it was becoming increasingly difficult to pay staff wages.
Brenton said he was support- ive of other charities, but a number of opshops and goodwill stores had opened in the city over the years, which naturally increased competition.
He said people were also able to get cheap deals through sales at the larger warehouses, clothing and furniture stores and online.
Brenton said all of these elements, as well as being fully reliant on donations, meant charities faced an uphill battle.
But the amount of donations and volunteer support from the community was as strong as ever, he said.
The Main St and Highbury stores were brimming with donated items, with even more items in storage.
The Salvation Army has also amalgamated its pop-up family store in Kelvin Grove with its Church St store.
Palmerston North Salvation Army captain Stu Lee said the key to their survival was the partnership they had with the community. With support, the organisation was able to give back to the community, he said.
Lyal Brenton, who manages the MSS Goodwill stores in Palmerston North, stands outside the recently closed store on Waldegrave St.