VACAVILLE — Construction has begun in preparation for a thrift store wholesaler in the long-vacant building that Yardbirds Hardware store once called home.
Savers Thrift Store will take over half of the building at 154 Browns Valley Parkway, which has been empty for several years. The national chain was started in 1954 and has its headquarters in Bellvue, Wash.
The store is set to open May 9. Savers will occupy 30,608 square feet of the building, while an additional 21,645 square feet of the original building remains vacant.
Savers purchases items collected by charities and nonprofits, whether the store sells them or not, said Sara Gaugl, spokeswoman with Savers. The store works with groups that collect items from people’s homes with curbside or doorstep pickup.
Gaugl said the store pays a flat rate for items, which allows the groups to be able to count on the money regularly.
“Those items you place on curb, those go somewhere. They sell those goods to us,” Gaugl said. “It’s that revenue that helps support those missions.”
About 50 percent of the items collected are sold in stores, while the rest are either donated to other countries or recycled, Gaugl said.
City Councilman Ron Rowlett said he is happy to see one of the city’s biggest empty properties finally filled after years of vacancy. He said the city has made considerable progress to bring businesses to Vacaville while making infill projects and vacant buildings a priority.
Not everyone shares his enthusiasm, as yet another thrift store will compete with several smaller operations around town. Jane Schilling, director of volunteer services for NorthBay Medical Center, said her organization’s shop, Second Hand Rose, could be affected by the larger operation.
Schilling said the smaller shop is staffed entirely by volunteers and any profit is used locally. She said the store raises about $50,000 a year, which goes back to the hospital and the community.
“They’re very different. As long as we are paying the bills, we are happy,” Schilling said. “There truly is competition with thrift shops around here.”
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.