A new store will open in Springfield on Saturday with a unique business plan — one that’s more service-driven than profit-driven.
The Salvation Army Family Store, located at the Northland Plaza, 2990 Derr Road, will open at 9 a.m. and bring 10 new jobs to the area, according to Salvation Army Lt. Dave Wetzel. It will sell bargain-priced clothing, household items, electronics, books, toys, furniture and collectibles.
“It is at a very good location that we think will be very successful,” said Wetzel. “The plaza has some new tenants in it along with us, so we saw it as a growing area and something we wanted to be a part of.”
Among those new tenants is Rose’s, which recently moved into the space which K-Mart had previously occupied.
For the Salvation Army, profit is not necessarily the bottom line as much as a focus on helping people in the community who are struggling with life issues. All revenues from the store will support the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Dayton.
“There is no government funding,” said Wetzel. “It is all generated through the Family Stores. The more stores we have, the more people we can help in the program.”
“We signed a five-year lease, so will be there at least five years,” said Wetzel, who oversees the store and the adult rehab center. “We do have sales targets that we do have to meet, and every year we like to beat the year prior, but generally our stores do that. We have very low overhead costs.”
Although the rehab center is in Dayton, Wetzel said there will be plenty of input from the Springfield/Clark County Salvation Army post.
“This is actually supervised by my office in Dayton, but they will have a relationship with us in many different ways,” said Wetzel. “It is a community project. It does fund the rehab center in Dayton, but the center is open to anybody. We get a lot of people from Springfield and Clark County.”
“It is a six- to nine-month residential program, for both men (58 beds) and women (12 beds),” he continued. “It’s for people with physical and emotional needs; mostly those who have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and the homeless. We always have a full house.”
The program is comprehensive, and demanding.
“Basically, we provide them with counseling, recreational opportunities, work therapy, room and board and spiritual recovery,” he said. “Some work in our stores, some work in our warehouse, others work on the trucks or elsewhere in the program. Many times, when they graduate from the program, they come and work for me as an employee, or we try to place them into a job.
“But it is a very structured program. There are a lot of rules. Sometimes they don’t graduate and leave and then come back three or four times before they get it.”
It will be the fifth store of its kind in the Miami Valley, joining locations in Dayton, Centerville, Middletown and Piqua. For Springfield, the opening will mark a return engagement.
“We used to have a small store in Springfield (on North Bechtle Avenue), but it closed 5 to 6 years ago,” said Wetzel, who added the closing was because the landlord was selling the property and the lease ended. “Springfield was supposed to have a store when the other closed, but it just didn’t happen. But with the current real estate market, it was a good time for us to find something and move in.”
The store has some similarities to Goodwill, “but we are a lot different,” said Wetzel. “We do a lot different things that they do, and we have a different mission focus.”
And they will be doing it in the Salvation Army’s eastern-most location to date.
“Everybody is actually pretty excited about it,” Wetzel said. “There’s nothing quite like that in that area of town.”
Free coffee and donuts will be served as part of the grand opening, and guests can win a free flat-screen TV. Donations will also be received between the store hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.