Hickory – As the weeks have passed and we are beginning to cautiously transition into a ‘new normal’, Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM) announces 31 Thrift and More! the thrift store at GHCCM, will re-open for store sales on Wednesday, May 13.

Store hours for shopping are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 am – 4 pm.; Tuesday from 11 am – 5 pm; and Saturday from 10am – 4pm. The address of the store is 31 First Avenue SE, Hickory, NC. Donations of clothing, household goods, etc. will be accepted at a later date.

Upon opening of 31 Thrift and MORE! strict adherence to local and federal health guidelines will be observed. Employees and volunteers will have temperature checks upon entering; masks will be worn; deep cleaning will occur at the beginning of each day, throughout the day and at the end of the day; the store will allow 11 shoppers at any given time; floor markers will indicate social distancing spacing; and guests will be encouraged to wear a mask.

The 31 Thrift and MORE! staff have continued working each day during the mandated shut down. The time has been focused on organizing the store and the warehouse. Every storage bin and tote in the warehouse has been audited and priced. The sales floor is fully stocked and ready for purchase! Displays, clothing racks, the store’s windows and the perimeter have all been addressed for look, staging and selling. Summer dresses, shorts and warm-weather items will greet our shoppers when the store reopens. Antiques and vintage clothing continue to be two important offerings of 31Thrift and More!

This time has enabled 31 Thrift and MORE! to focus on the online stores on Etsy, eBay and 31thriftandmore.org. Lisa Brannock, the Etsy volunteer, has invested much time in training store team members in the daily operations of the store. They have learned to select-list-sell-& ship vintage items online. Both Etsy and eBay are running site-wide discounts to encourage online shopping during the shutdown.

Until May 12, the thrift store is offering curb side pick-up for local purchases made online. Pick-ups are available during the times of 12-1 and 4-5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And our online sales have increased! Visits to our online stores, as well as purchases and revenue are all up – some as much as almost 200% over last year.

To shop 31 Thrift and MORE! selection of vintage purses, jewelry, accessories, clothing and housewares on Etsy visit: www.31thriftandmore.etsy.com To shop eBay for new items with tags and vintage to antique items: www.ebay.com/str/31thriftandmore To shop a vast selection of military inventory including flag boxes, medals, ribbons, etc. as well as clothing visit: www.31thriftandmore.org

The impact from sales at 31 Thrift and MORE! is beneficial to the neighbors we serve at GHCCM. The formula is 1 = 80 and 6 = 3 at 31 Thrift and MORE! For each purchase of $1.00 at the shop, GHCCM can dispense $80.00 worth of food through our in-house nutrition center to families and individuals in need. When a purchase totals $6.00 in the store, we can dispense roughly 3 prescriptions through our pharmacy to neighbors in need. Over the years, the store has generated millions of dollars of revenue to GHCCM’s ministries and programs.

​31 Thrift and MORE was voted “BEST” Consignment/Thrift store for 2019 in Catawba County through the Hickory Daily Record. Onlyinyourstate.com selected 31 Thrift and MORE! as one of the top 6 thrift stores in the state of NC. 31 Thrift and MORE! Director, John Featherstone and his wife Ruth, store Coordinator, joined GHCCM 6 years ago with extensive experience in commercial retail. Merchandizing, display, organization and pricing of clothing (new, used and vintage), household goods and antiques are important aspects of generating sales and profitability.

As stated by Kathy Wood, Executive Director of GHCCM, “John and Ruth put their heart and soul into making 31 Thrift and MORE! the best place to shop in Hickory when looking for current, gently used and new items to buy. Their attention to detail benefits all of us. Without 31 Thrift and MORE!, GHCCM would lack the ability to serve our neighbors who are homeless through the voucher program, those who have lost their household and/or clothing in a fire, or someone who needs clothing for a job interview, to mention a few ways we help. We are thankful to our donors who bring their valuable possessions to GHCCM for us to generate revenue for the ministry and to assist those in our community who are our most vulnerable.”

Austin Johnson, 31 Thrift and MORE!’s newest employee is working part time as the store’s new Warehouse Manager. Austin recently moved to Hickory from Belmont, NC where he worked for Holy Angels, a large non-profit based in Belmont, NC. He has a degree in business administration and years of working with volunteers in different capacities. As stated by John Featherstone, Director of 31 Thrift and MORE! “No one could foresee the events that coincided with Austin’s start date, but he has remained excited to be in his new role and has already made a great impact in the store.”

Although 31 Thrift and MORE! is not currently accepting donations, GHCCM continues to accept food donations. It is requested that food donations be brought to the rear loading dock Monday – Thursday (closed on Friday), 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. In addition, GHCCM is dependent on financial contributions to continue offering the wide range of support to our neighbors who are less fortunate. During the current pandemic crisis, more people in our community are facing a crisis of unemployment. It is the goal of GHCCM to work together to offer stability to those in crisis.

The website for GHCCM is www.ccmhickory.org. For additional information email [email protected]. Volunteers remain a valuable asset to GHCCM. To volunteer send request to [email protected].