Calgarians glad to see thrift shops reopening after COVID-19 shutdown: ‘This is awesome!’

Thrift shops around Calgary have gradually begun reopening for business after a two-month shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It comes as welcome news for people who have been waiting weeks to make donations, as well as for shoppers struggling to make ends meet.

“Because of the pandemic, for us, with a limited income, it’s very useful,” customer Romeo Estrada said.

“It’s a big help.”

Estrada was shopping Tuesday afternoon at the Goodwill Thrift Store in the TransCanada shopping centre in northeast Calgary.

The store has made some changes to try to keep staff and shoppers safe from the coronavirus.

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“We have no changerooms currently open, no washrooms,” store manager Lorna Schnepf said. “We also have no returns because of the situation that we are all in.”

It’s a busy time at the rear entrance to the store, where people can drop off donations.

“We are getting tons and tons of donations,” Schnepf said. “A lot of people are cleaning drawers and their kitchen areas and we’re getting tons of clothing, so certainly a lot of people are doing closets.”

The pandemic is giving people who are staying home lots of opportunity to do some spring cleaning.

Mariani had come to Goodwill along with Maria Nela to drop off a vanload of donations, including clothing, housewares and toys.

“This is awesome! I couldn’t wait. I’ve been calling almost every day about when it was going to be open,” Nela said. “So, finally! Because we don’t want to throw it in the garbage, right?”

Staff in the donations area are taking steps to protect themselves, donors and shoppers.

People donating items to Goodwill are happy to be able to help others find bargains during the pandemic.

“It’s such good help for everybody, right?” Nela said. “Especially in these times.”


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