The Americus Times-Recorder
Habitat ReStore getting ‘back on ‘track’
Over the past year, The Restore has gone through several changes, to say the least. Many of our customers have expressed dismay when the store began moving to a more retail base with high end furniture and other expensive items. When I took over in October, the most common phrase I heard was,
“I stopped coming in because the restore got too expensive for me to shop there.”
As the new director, this was a sentiment I encountered several times over not just in the store but around town as well. If you add that to the bumps we have hit along the way, it made for one fine mess. However, I wanted to take the opportunity to set the record straight about where the restore was and where it is going.
Flat out, the restore got off track the first of 2012. Let me say that there are restores in places like Charlotte, NC, Tallahassee, FL, that are HUGE stores and are as much retail outlet as they are second hand shops. These places literally do millions of dollars in business a year. They are a phenomenal model for other habitat Affiliates but they exist in a place where there is an equally giant population base. I believe this fact was overlooked when the Restore was re-engineered to be like them. I also believe that the course steered us away from what the Restore was meant to do. The restore was intended to give items a second chance in another home. Things that would usually go to the dump, the restore would be able to intercept and give it a new life before becoming just another piece of garbage. At the same time, it provided a way to help the Mission of Habitat to build new homes in the area. In the course of events, it is easy to fall away from the original intent of what you set out to do. From time to time, that core focus has to be re-established and the loose ends tied back into place. As stewards of the Mission, that is what we are doing right now. Let me say, without any hesitation, that the Restore is not closing, nor do we have any plans to do so in the near future. What we WILL be doing is setting things back into line with our primary purpose and to turn the Restore back into some place EVERYONE wants to go check out. In order to do that, we are reorganizing our store and will be shortening our hours so that we are able to do so. The new hours of the Restore are Thursday and Friday, 9-5. We are ALWAYS available for donation pickup regardless if the store is open or not. To clean everything up, the Restore will be having an auction on Feb 9th, in order to clear some of the overstock that been hanging around for years. With new hours and a few clean shelves, we hope to make the Restore a community center piece, once again.
In all of this, please remember that the roots of the Restore are donations from local folks like you. So please, as we right this ship, remember that our success depends on your support and old washing machines!
Interim Executive Director