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Fri, Dec 19, 2014

Salvation Army plans new store in Murfreesboro

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After months of planning and renovations, The Salvation Army Family Store will soon return to the local community in a new location in downtown Murfreesboro.

A grand opening will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at its new home at 125 S. Front St., just off Broad Street across from Captain D's and Camino Real. Door prizes will be awarded to the first shoppers.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will be closed on Sundays.

The store already is accepting donated items during regular business hours. Furniture donation pick-ups can be scheduled by calling the main office at 895-7071.

"We definitely need furniture," said Lt. Monica Seiler, who along with her husband, Lt. Andy Seiler, took over the local Christian-based nonprofit six months ago.

"Anything (donors) have in the house that they think can help change a life, we’ll use it."

Among numerous items for sale will be children, youth and adult clothes, shoes, a variety of housewares, furniture, electronic appliances and toys. Shoppers will also find items such as perfumes and colognes and comic books.

The Salvation Army Family Store will be located in the former American Oak Furniture building. Volunteers for the nonprofit have worked in recent months on renovations that included general cleanup, painting, electrical repairs and new flooring.

While helping to set up a shoe display on a recent Saturday, volunteer Porsha Sanders of Murfreesboro said she felt blessed to be able to play a small role to help an organization that helps so many others.

"I truly feel like we're doing God's work," she said.

Volunteers are still needed to set up the store. Those interested in helping can stop by the store or call 615-895-7071.

Monica Seiler has taken a lead role in setting up the family store, drawing on her experience from operating successful stores in the Atlanta area before moving to Murfreesboro last year.

Everything in the store is priced individually. Prices will range from as low as $1.99 to a few hundred dollars for furniture, Seiler said. But don't expect to walk in to the store and find rows of sofas and recliners arranged in sequence.

"The furniture will be set up like a room, with pictures hung on the walls and everything," she said, adding that the clothing inventory will include "a nice selection of boutique-type clothes."

Also, there will be a live “as is” auction beginning the first Saturday of the month starting in March. The auction will allow the store to move large items, such as furniture and appliances, that didn't sell during the previous month and thus clear space for new inventory.

The new store will be the only Salvation Army Family Store in the Middle Tennessee area outside of Clarksville. The next nearest store is Chattanooga.

The reopening follows the closure of the store on Mercury Boulevard a few years ago. Though located in Murfreesboro, the store was actually managed by The Salvation Army Nashville Rehabilitation Center, Seiler said.

That facility closed down following the flood of 2010 and the decision eventually was made to close the family stores it operated, with the last one closed in June 2012.

The new store will be operated differently. It will be managed locally, with proceeds from sales supporting The Salvation Army’s shelter, youth program and various social services.

“Everything stays local," Seiler said.

The staff for the family store includes a full-time manager; two part-time cashiers who'll also sort, price and distribute new inventory; two truck drivers; and a warehouse worker.

"It's coming along very well," said store manager Kay Boner, adding that store workers and volunteers will continue with finishing touches all the way up until the grand opening.
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