Shop shifting

16:00, Feb 15 2014
Bronwen Demmocks
On the move: Blue Door shop manager Bronwen Demmocks and her team are decluttering and packing up all mannner of second-hand goods to move around the corner to their new premises in Seymour St, Blenheim.

A Blenheim thrift shop is undertaking a dizzying deed, relocating thousands of items to a new premises around the corner.

It's no easy task, but volunteers and staff at The Blue Door charity shop are taking it all in their stride with a bit of teamwork and a sunny disposition.

The Blue Door is set to open the doors of its new premises in the old Guthrie Bowron building at 46 Seymour St in Blenheim on Friday, February 21.

The shop has been at its Charles St location since 2001.

Blue Door shop manager Bronwen Demmocks says staff and volunteers began moving items to their new showroom behind their current site at the beginning of the month.

Their entertainment value and helpful, easy-going attitudes is making the relocation relatively painless, she says.


"We're a very social lot for a charity shop. We do have fun here. It's a nice place to work.

"We like to have a laugh."

"We're just lucky we've got some very good volunteers who've put their hand up to help out."

Staff and even a few customers are helping with the relocation, lending anything from a ute, to time, to lifting power.

"All of our staff are helping and many are doing extra shifts at the counter so we can be out the back to make the most of our time for moving."

There are a couple of other positive spinoffs for the move, Bronwen says.

The new site's huge showroom means more items on display, and less time spent by staff fossicking for customers' requests in storage out the back, says Bronwen.

In contrast to the current shop, it will not be as cold, thanks to an automatic door that will keep out the cool winter air.

Bronwen anticipates the new shop will bring in more foot traffic, being in such a conspicuous location next to the main road.

"A lot of people don't really know we're here, so hopefully when we move on to the corner it will raise our profile."

Donors will also still have a car park to drop off goods.

Staff have forged a good bond with many of their regular customers, something that re-inforced their place in the community and kept them coming back, Bronwen says.

"We know a lot of customers by their first name, they tell us about their life and what's going on and we do the same with them."

Shop attendants often donned part of a dress-up costume, a hat, or jewellery from the shop to encourage customers to buy.

But some of the more bizarre items, they just give away.

"We do have the accessional item we don't have a clue about that gets put on the counter," says Bronwen.

"We say, ‘if you know what it is, you can have it.' "

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