Ridgefield Thrift Shop Gets Creative
Last spring, when the pandemic became a harsh reality, the Ridgefield Thrift Shop had to deal with the logistics of keeping its customers and volunteers safe. Slowly but surely, a plan was implemented in compliance with CDC guidelines that allowed for a partial reopening and a new way of accepting donations.
The RTS staff were trained in safety procedures; the shop was altered to provide shields where needed; pods were rented to quarantine donations for 48 hours or more. The Shop finally reopened last September. The Town and its residents have always benefited tremendously from the Shop – not just from the grants distributed ($750,000 in 2020) but from being one of the great features of our lovely town. The Board could not let the pandemic bring the business to a complete halt.
Store hours were reduced from twenty-six hours a week over six days, to eight hours over two days. This was done so that fewer volunteers would be in the shop at any one time, and customers would be limited to the number recommended by CDC, allowing for proper social distancing. To the surprise of the volunteers, loyal customers patiently line up well before the opening hours and are most understanding when they must wait outside for their turn. Revenues have naturally dropped but the Board is assured by the demand they see now, that once fully open, RTS will be better and stronger.
One of the volunteers suggested they give customers an alternative way to shop – thus started RTS participation in Auction Ninja, an online auction site. (Visit the site through the link here or the link on our Facebook page.)
The first auction was September 30, 2020, and has been going strong since, bringing customers from far and wide – one as distant as California! As a bonus for the winning bidders, when they pick up their items on Friday mornings, they are allowed into the store to shop. For some it is their first (but will definitely not be their last) experience in visiting the Shop.
See RTS website for times. Your generosity is much appreciated.