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.
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.