Thousands attend Yuma family store opening

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Store offers more than great shopping.

Yuma County Advisory Board Chairman John Jester, Captain Jonathan Harvey and Major Doug Danielson look on as Deputy Mayor Ross J. Hieb cuts the ribbon [Photo by Bruce Harvey].

Over 700 people eagerly awaited the opening of the new, state-of-the art Salvation Army family thrift store in Yuma, Ariz. Ross Hieb, Yuma’s deputy mayor, along with Majors Doug and Rhode Danielson, Southwest divisional commanders, presided at the official opening and ribbon-cutting. Joining them were Captains Jonathan and Vickie Harvey, Yuma County coordinator and corps officer, respectively, and members of the Yuma County Advisory Board and other elected officials.

A sign of the times
The line of people waiting to enter the store stretched across the entire shopping center—many had arrived as early as 6 a.m. for the 10 a.m. opening. In these tough economic times, with everyone trying to get the most for their dollar, the Army’s thrift stores are more popular than ever.

Within five minutes of opening, the free gifts for the first 250 guests were gone; over 4,000 people visited the store that day alone with more than $13,000 in sales recorded by the close of business.

“People love it,” said Harvey, as people packed into the 16,000 square foot facility. “We have paid a great deal of attention to detail…today all the hard work has paid off.”

The store features flat screen TVs mounted from the ceiling, which communicate information about daily specials, corps programs and upcoming events.

Family Services Center onsite
Another feature is a “Guest Services” desk that provides directions to customers and serves as an entry point for the new Family Services Center located with the store. New office space for the county administration is also located with the facility, which covers a total of 25,000 square feet.

The Guest Services desk and the Family Services Center, along with a creative use of technology, introduce shoppers to more of what The Salvation Army has to offer; no longer will they see the Army as just a thrift store. In a time of economic crisis The Salvation Army in Yuma is offering a place where anyone can feel comfortable, regardless of their economic status.

Telling the Army’s story
One unique design element is six-foot tall, enlarged photos that tell the story of The Salvation Army’s ministry. Photos featuring programs that take place throughout Yuma County, particularly the Boys and Girls Clubs, stand next to historical photos highlighting the rich history of The Salvation Army locally and around the world.

Another priority for the store was installation of the latest technology, including the Adult Rehabilitation Center’s new POS system. Every item in the store is bar-coded, making check out quick and easy. The system tracks vital information, enabling the management team to make regular adjustments to the stock, thereby maximizing the store’s financial potential.

Customers seem to love the spacious layout, modern look, convenient parking, huge selection and organized format. The new facility will serve as a beacon of hope to Yuma County residents as it not only provides a great place to shop but also a place where families can receive the help they need—all under one roof. The new central location on Yuma’s main strip has already brought increased awareness to The Salvation Army, and store donations, sales and financial support have all increased. Happily, this has also led to more new visitors to the corps, which has seen significant growth in recent months.

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