Vinnies’ expands its op shop empire opening its 52nd store in Kalamunda

AT FRONT CENTRE: Sarah Needs (Retail Manager, Vinnies Kalamunda), surrounded by the volunteers that work in the new store. Photo: David Baylis
AT FRONT CENTRE: Sarah Needs (Retail Manager, Vinnies Kalamunda), surrounded by the volunteers that work in the new store. Photo: David Baylis

WHILE many retailers are struggling to keep their doors open, St Vincent de Paul is bucking the trend and expanding its op shop empire, opening its 52nd store this week in Kalamunda.

Op shops are piggybacking off the wave of popularity of decluttering queen Marie Kondo as well as consumers’ increasing propensity to avoid fast fashion.

Retail operations manager Signe Balodis said Vinnies had seen a 30 per increase in donations over the past few months.

“We receive extremely generous support from the WA public who visit and purchase items from our shops, donate their pre-loved items to Vinnies and give generously of their time to volunteer with us,” she said.

“Vinnies shops are an important part of the local community, they provide customers will an opportunity to purchase quality pre-loved items at reasonable prices, divert waste from landfill by reusing and repurposing items and as well offer volunteers with an opportunity to share their time, learn new skills and make new friends.

Vinnies Kalamunda shop manager Sarah Needs said staff were run off their feet with a bumper first day of trading.

“Kalamunda is a strong community-focused town so I wasn’t surprised at how welcoming everyone has been even before we opened,” she said.

“The wonderful thing about the location of this shop is that it will actually service so many areas beyond the heart of the town of Kalamunda.”

Ms Needs said the store is still recruiting for more shop volunteers.

“We have had so many enquiries and such a great response but we still have room for more volunteers,” she said.

“You can put your skills to great use, meet fantastic people and be a part of a great environment so I really encourage people to come in for a chat or contact us.”

The Kalamunda shop is the first of a number of Vinnies stores opening this year around the metropolitan area.

A Mosman Park store will open next month, with more stores in the pipeline.

The sale of goods goes towards assisting over 40,000 Western Australians each year.