Stores

SVdP Stores Corner

SVdP Stores Corner 1200 628 SVDP USA

The Stores Corner was added to the e-Gazette in 2022 to be a helpful resource on various topics for all SVdP Thrift Stores staff and volunteers.

This edition of the Stores Corner is to explain the purpose of the National Stores Committee and to list the volunteer committee members by region.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Store Committee is dedicated to helping our Thrift Store personnel (both paid and unpaid), to develop and maintain successful Thrift Stores to support the Society’s mission most effectively.

The Thrift Stores Committee members are a group of individuals who generously volunteer their time to be of service to other SVdP store personnel throughout the country.

Most of the Thrift Stores Committee members are women and men who work full-time in jobs helping to run successful stores in their own region.

Stores committee members represent single store locations and multi-store locations.

Committee members are here to serve you.

You might have questions about Point of Sale (POS) systems, how to increase donations, cash handling processes, volunteer/staff recruitment, on-line sales, social media, human resource topics, etc.

Please reach out to a committee member if you have questions. If they don’t have an answer for you, they will reach out to another resource to get the answer for you.

If you have a topic you’d like to see in a future Stores Corner article, please email your request to National Stores Director, Jeff Beamguard at jbeamguard@svdpusa.org.

Thank you!

Committee members are listed below by region:

West
Diocesan Council of Phoenix: Mike McClanahan
mmcclanahan@svdpaz.org

Contra Costa County of California: Dominick Scibilia
dscibilia04@gmail.com

North Central
District Council of Madison: Brooke Trick
btrick@svdpmadison.org

Cabrini Conference, Wausau, WI: Kim Kuske
Kkuske@svdpwausau.org

Midwest
Council of St. Louis: John Walters
waltjlbt@aol.com

South Central
Archdiocesan Council of Galveston-Houston: Marie Schwartz
Marie.schwartz@svdphouston.org

Stores Director Austin: Rick Bologna
Rick.bologna@ssvdp.org

Southeast
Diocese of Palm Beach: Don Schiffgens
DSchiffgen@aol.com

Mideast
Council of Lansing: John Thelen
JThelen@svdpmideastregion.org

East
Council of Greensburg: Ed Markiewicz
esmarkiewicz@gmail.com

Northeast
Council of Rockville Centre: Joe Lazarich
JLazarich@SvdpLi.org

Archdiocese of Boston: Lori Malcom
LMalcom@svdpboston.org

 

Stores Corner — How To Use Facebook To Your Advantage

Stores Corner — How To Use Facebook To Your Advantage 1200 628 SVDP USA

By: John Thelen
Mideast Region, Council of Lansing, MI

Our St. Vincent de Paul Store’s Facebook Page is used as an informational tool to educate and inform followers about our mission and how our store helps us to achieve our mission. To increase our followers, we’ve posted signs throughout our store, (dressing rooms, restrooms, donation intake, store entrance, cashier counters, etc.) inviting people to LIKE our Facebook Page. We list our Facebook Page on business cards that are available at various places throughout our store that show our store and donation hours and the telephone number to request assistance.

Each week, we will advertise our color sale for the week. We use Facebook to show case unique, higher value items to draw customers into our store. Our community has several trader pages, so we will post items to pages that we feel will help us reach our targeted audience for the particular item we have available. We post pictures of the item, along with the price and indicate our address where the item can be seen. We’ve had good success bringing new people into our store that otherwise would not have visited. 

We also use Facebook to further the work of our mission to serve our ‘Neighbors in Need.’ During Covid, when our store was forced to close, we used Facebook to show how we collaborate with other agencies within our community. We would share links to mobile food pantries and the food banks that are available in our area. We’d take pictures as we partnered with agencies to collect care bags for those that had to quarantine in motel rooms so they didn’t expose other family members still at home. We used Facebook to promote the collection of blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless. Facebook followers could see what we really were all about. That we were doing the work of St. Vincent’s even though our store was closed.

As you watch your Facebook LIKES increase, you can see when followers share your posts, which helps communicate important, timely information. Be sure to continue inviting your staff members, volunteers, fellow Vincentians, church members, collaborating agencies, etc. to LIKE your page which will continue to grow the number of people that can help tell our story. It has been said that St. Vincent de Paul is the “best kept secret” within many parish communities. Let’s help to change that. Our work with ‘Neighbors in Need’ should be discreet, but sharing about the greater good that we do needs to be shared. 

If we don’t share it, who will?   

The National Stores Committee is a group SVdP store folks that represent each SVdP Region and are committed to best practices in support of SVdP thrift stores for success across the nation. Find great topical articles from the Region Reps here in the Stores Corner of the E-Gazette on the last Thursday of each month.

Connect with a Region Rep to learn more about what they are doing in your area – list of committee members can be found under the Resources drop down at https://www.svdpusa-thriftstore.org/

Check out the SVdP Stores webpage! You’ll find tons of great information regarding all things stores!?

Stores Corner — Centralized Processing

Stores Corner — Centralized Processing 1200 628 SVDP USA

Do you know about the SVdP Stores webpage through the National website with tons of great information regarding all things stores!?

The National Stores Committee is a group SVdP store folks that represent each SVdP Region and are committed to best practices in support of SVdP Thrift Stores for success across the nation. Find great topical articles from the Region Reps here in the Stores Corner of the E-Gazette on the last Thursday of each month.

Centralized Processing
By: Lori Malcolm — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Archdiocese of Boston

Clothing sales are one of the largest revenue streams for our thrift stores. A centralized processing system can be an efficient and cost effective alternative for demographics that may not be able to support the volume and quality necessary for a successful retail operation.

The supply of product and its continued rotation is the corner stone to increased sales.  Donations of textiles at the retail site is one method of product supply.  However, it may be limited in volume and quality by the retail store’s demographic. Consequently, supplemental means of supply are often times required.  These include clothing drives, corporate donations, or a collection bin system. Each should be reviewed locally for feasibility purposes.

The sorting process is the most important element of a centralized processing system. Determining the necessary labor and standards expected are most important in establishing a training regimen for staff. The site location, building, physical set up of workstations, and the material handling equipment required for efficient production also need to be carefully considered. In addition, an exit strategy for all store returns and donations which do not meet standards must be established.

Lastly, product distribution and its logistical requirements must be addressed. Standard retail store order quantities and delivery frequency must be determined based on the size of the retail store and its rotation cycle.  Delivery logistics, including transportation labor, trucks, and hours of operation must be determined and accounted for fiscally. Careful consideration must also be made for trash, both fiscally and logistically. Finally, an effective hangar management system (storage) with its associated material handling equipment requirements should be carefully considered in order to assure the most efficient and cost effective operation.

Please contact your local National Store’s Committee representative for examples of successful centralized processing retail operations. More detailed information and tours can be arranged.

Connect with a Region Rep to learn more about what they are doing in your area – list of committee members can be found under the Resources drop down at by clicking here.

Stores Corner: Skillful Merchandising Adds to the Bottom Line

Stores Corner: Skillful Merchandising Adds to the Bottom Line 738 416 SVDP USA

By: Ed Markiewicz
Council of Greensburg, PA

Achieving and maintaining profitability in our Thrift Stores requires implementing standard operational procedures consistently. Without a doubt having the right people, establishing effective intake processing and pricing procedures as well as a color rotation system, and utilizing the data from the Point of Sale system to analyze and implement the necessary changes are the basic requirements for a successful operation. But skillful merchandising can dramatically add to the bottom line and create a welcoming atmosphere for you customers.

How can this easily be achieved? Create a visual team with a creative spirit. Visual merchandising, unexpected pairings, thoughtful details, and repetition attract the eye. Using flexible space for events and seasonal items, a fresh look or display, and creating a rhythm to the store by placing visual elements that guide customer flow through the store are essential. Clever color placement as well as themed settings draw customer attention, and create a warm uniform effect.

Tell a story high on the walls to draw customer’s eyes to featured items. Use mannequins in a unique eye catching display not merely to display clothes. Be sure to showcase items specific to the area and use a simple signage system that often times is the most effective. It can lead to excitement and additional income opportunities, while capturing data at a granular level for deeper insights into the business.

Customers who believe in the mission of the store and enjoy shopping at the SVdP store can share the store’s presence within their own circle of influence: family, friends, and loved ones. Additional visibility for the store is always great!

Loyalty cards allow your store to capture customer data points, which can be leveraged into marketing opportunities. Ask yourself, how can we stay in contact with customers and make decisions on marketing and advertising campaigns?

From the data points captured through loyalty cards, stores can send out email blasts or text blasts, to the customer base for any special sales or promotions. Customer retention is much cheaper than customer acquisition!

Connect with a Region Rep to learn more about what is happening in your area – the list of committee members can be found under the Resources drop down at https://www.svdpusa-thriftstore.org/.

Stores Corner: Staying in Contact With Your Customers is Critical

Stores Corner: Staying in Contact With Your Customers is Critical 738 416 SVDP USA

Customer loyalty and gift cards can be a positive add-on for a store. Having a Point of Sale (POS) system allows for ease in these types of special add-on programs in daily store operations. These programs create customer excitement and additional income opportunities, while capturing data at a granular level for deeper insights into the business.

Customers who believe in the mission of the store and enjoy shopping at the SVdP Thrift Store can share the store’s presence within their own circle of influence: family, friends, and loved ones. Additional visibility for the store is always great!

Loyalty cards allow your store to capture customer data points, which can be leveraged into marketing opportunities. Ask yourself, how can we stay in contact with customers and make decisions on marketing and advertising campaigns?

From the data points captured through loyalty cards, stores can send out email blasts or text blasts, to the customer base for any special sales or promotions. Customer retention is much cheaper than customer acquisition!

Connect with a Region Rep to learn more about what is happening in your area – the list of committee members can be found under the Resources drop down at https://www.svdpusa-thriftstore.org/.

By: Rick Bologna
SVdP Stores Director / Central Texas

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