Vinnies store opens up

HARD WORKERS: This team of volunteers will be manning Vinnies' new shop in the Westlands Shopping Centre.
HARD WORKERS: This team of volunteers will be manning Vinnies' new shop in the Westlands Shopping Centre.

Vinnies is set to double its presence in Whyalla, with a second shop opening in the Westland Shopping Centre in mid-June, located between Rockmans and Spendless Shoes.

The shop will break new ground for the organisation in South Australia, as it will be the first time a Vinnies shop has been located in a shopping centre. Currently most shops are either standalone or in smaller shopping strips.

"Vinnies Whyalla has proudly served the local community for decades, and the shop currently located in Essington Lewis Avenue has always enjoyed strong support," Vinnies Northern Retail Area Manager Sandra Abela said.

"When the opportunity came up to open a second shop, we jumped at it.'

The operation of the new shop will be strictly a retail outlet and stock will be 'rolled in' ready to sell. The stock will be prepared - sorted and priced - at the existing Essington Lewis Avenue shop by local volunteers.

With Monday marking the beginning of National Volunteers Week, Ms Abela said volunteers were the 'backbone' of Vinnies shops, with approximately 1200 shop volunteers supporting the operation around the state.

"As sales from Vinnies shops fund much of the assistance that Vinnies provides to over 135,000 South Australians, the organisation values its committed, passionate volunteer workforce."

Interest in volunteering at the new shop has been high, with a mixture of people seeking to gain new skills, maintain their skills, or simply give back to the community.

While most volunteer vacancies have been filled, the shop may open on Sundays and volunteers for that day will be required.

New shop manager Karina Gacic is excited about the shop opening.

"I'm really looking forward to introducing Vinnies to potentially a whole new market," she said.

"Some people may not have been exposed to op shopping, so having a Vinnies shop here alongside other leading retailers is a real win.

"And for me, I couldn't be happier about bringing together my background in retail and customer service, plus a love of op shopping. I look forward to welcoming shoppers to Vinnies Whyalla Westland."

Launch day is currently earmarked for June 17, and shoppers are encouraged to come down and check out the store and meet the team.

Volunteer enquiries can be made by contacting Christine Grover on 8119 8735 or email cgrover@svdpsa.org.au.