The month of February will bring BIG changes to Impact Thrift Stores. These changes will increase our strength as an organization and enable us to better serve you and the community.
On February 4, 2017, our stores at 14 E. Moreland Ave, Hatboro, and 208 Commerce Circle, Bristol, will cease to operate as Impact Thrift Stores. While the decision to divest these two locations was not an easy one, we are excited by the opportunity to concentrate our resources on our three largest locations: Feasterville, Montgomeryville, and Norristown. The size of the Feasterville, Montgomeryville, and Norristown stores allows them to host the full line of Impact Thrift’s gently used merchandise, including furniture and large household items which are difficult to display in the Hatboro store and impossible in the Bristol store. Impact Thrift will also be increasing our focus on online shopping. We invite you to visit our new ecommerce site to explore an expanded collection of vintage, unique, and collectible items.
Impact Thrift’s commitment to our mission has not changed. We take the responsibility of supporting our charities, caring for our employees, and providing access to affordable clothing and household goods very seriously. With an increasingly competitive retail environment, compounded by the surge of online sellers, Impact Thrift has been experiencing lower than projected sales trends. In response to these trends, we have made many adjustments to improve sales and reduce costs. However, despite our best efforts, it was evident that more significant actions were needed in order to preserve our mission and continue to serve our community. As a result, Impact Thrift Stores entered into an agreement to sell our Hatboro and Bristol locations to a private entity. The 15 employees at the Hatboro and Bristol stores have been offered comparable positions with the new retailer who will occupy the space after February 4th. This change will allow us to further reduce expenses, refocus our resources, and most importantly, move our mission forward.
We thank you for your past support of the Hatboro and Bristol locations, and welcome you to visit our Feasterville, Montgomeryville and Norristown stores. Please note, Impact Thrift Gift Cards, Winter Rewards Cards and coupons will only be valid at Impact Thrift Stores in Feasterville, Montgomeryville, and Norristown after 2/4/17.
Q.) Why is Impact Thrift ceasing operations in two stores?
A.) With no margin, we have no mission. The divestiture of our smaller Hatboro and Bristol stores will allow us to focus on our three largest, most successful locations that allow us to accommodate our full line of product offerings. We will also be expanding our e-commerce business that will allow us to bring unique items and collectibles of interest to a broader customer base.
Q.) What will become of the two stores?
A.) As we began plans for restructuring, we were approached by an individual representing an independent, for-profit, business entity that expressed an interest in acquiring both the Bristol and Hatboro store businesses. Heaven’s Treasure Thrift & Value Stores LLC, out of Wilmington, DE plans to open for business in Bristol and Hatboro as of Monday, February 6, 2017.
Q.) What will happen to the employees at the Bristol and Hatboro stores?
A.) As a condition of the transaction, the ownership of Heaven’s Treasures will offer employment to all 15 current Impact Thrift Stores employees at the Hatboro and Bristol retail locations at their current rate of pay and comparable benefits.
Q.) How will this affect Impact Thrift Stores’ mission in the community?
A.) The Impact Thrift mission has not changed. We remain committed to providing access to affordable clothing and household goods at our three larger stores, the largest of which, Feasterville, is located less than 10 miles from the Bristol and Hatboro stores. We also believe these changes will make Impact Thrift stronger financially and thus better able to support our many partner charities that help people in need.
Q.) What external pressures helped lead to this decision?
A.) The retail market has become increasingly more competitive as demonstrated by the recent announcements of upcoming store closures by major retailers nationwide (e.g., Macy’s, Sears, K-Mart). The shift to online shopping has also added to the complexity of the retail environment, making it more challenging for retailers to support the overhead of traditional “brick-and-mortar” locations.
Q.) Will Impact Thrift Stores focus more on e-commerce or online sales?
A.) In December of last year, Impact Thrift made a commitment to moving much of its silent auction items to an online format. Customer response has been overwhelmingly positive and early results in this area have been promising. Click here to visit Impact Thrift’s eBay store. Traditional Silent Auction is still available at our Feasterville and Montgomeryville locations.
Q.) Where will Winter Rewards Cards, Gift Cards and coupons be accepted?
A.) The Impact Thrift $15 Winter Rewards Cards are redeemable until February 28 at all stores except Bristol and Hatboro. Due to the change in ownership, the cards will only be accepted in Bristol and Hatboro until Feb 4. The same holds true for Impact Thrift Gift Cards and coupons. Winter Rewards cards, Gift Cards and coupons will continue to be accepted at Impact Thrift Stores Feasterville, Montgomeryville and Norristown locations.
Q.) Will there be “going out of business” sales at the Bristol and Hatboro stores?
A.) No. We will continue to offer the same selection of great merchandise, with new inventory arriving daily at the two stores through February 4. Our usual discounts, coupons and promotions will apply through February 4, but we do not plan to hold any going out of business sales.
I had heard that this was coming. I think Impact Thrift expnded too quickly incurring debt it could not sustain. That being said, I support your effort to reorganize. I am a frequent Impact Thrift shopper and donator. I have shopped all stores except Bristol. I live in Montgomeryville, so that is my primary shopping place. I know that you can’t control all details of such transitions, and I am pleased to see that the employess at Hatboro and Bristol are being offered positions at the new store comparable to their current positions. I do think that the quick change during a major promotion such as the Winter Rewards and end of year gift cards puts customers who live near these stores at a disadvantage. With only 2 days notice, people who work during the week will have very limited shopping opportunities at these stores, and the other stores are a distance from them. I wish that they could be offerred to turn in their cards for the remaining value, or work out an arrangement with the new store owner, although I realize this could be complicated. Best wishes as you conntinue your mission.
Maureen, thank you for your message. We are happy that the transition is working out for our employees and that the 2 stores will continue to serve the community. The timing is a bit unfortunate re: Winter Rewards program but that could not be avoided unfortunately. Those Rewards cards will be accepted at our three remaining stores through the end of February regardless of where they were issued. We feel that this transition will help to strengthen our organization and the work we do in the community. ~Jill