After 20 years serving the community, The Salvation Army is closing its thrift store in Comox. 

It’s one of three locations operating in the valley, and while the other two will remain open, the organization says it was a hard decision to close the one on Comox Avenue.

Community Ministries Director Brent Hobden says due to financial reasons surrounding the pandemic, the team was unable to keep the store open.

“We never look at closing an operation without carefully weighing what exactly it’s going to do within the community and how it’s going to affect our ministry.”

“The store in Comox has been around for just a little bit over 20 years so it’s a welcome addition to that community and it is going to be missed. Our staff are saddened by the news but they certainly understand that because of the COVID-19 pandemic that business is a little bit different,” added Hobden. 

He adds that moving forward, the organization will focus its efforts on operating the other stores at 2966 Kilpatrick Avenue and 1671 Ryan Road.

“It is going to be an impact, whenever we close a store in any of our communities it does affect the community on a local basis, but we are going to take all the different things that we would put into that store and distribute them out to the other two stores.”

Hobden says despite the Comox location closing indefinitely, programs support and run by the Salvation Army will be continuing as usual, when it’s appropriate.

“The three stores that we have contributed to all the different programs that the Salvation Army operates here in the Comox Valley, the job training, the food bank, all that kind of stuff is supported primarily by our stores, so none of those programs we foresee being affected.

“As soon as we’re given the green light from the province and the state of emergency is lifted up, all of those programs are going to start up again.”