Second Blessings closes in September
The largest single thrift store in Chattanooga closes in September.
After nine years, Second Blessings operators say financial obligations have become too much to handle.
Directors Steve and Rachel Davis say they started to feel the financial pinch several months ago.
Not only is rent increasing by 50%, but shopper behavior has changed.
He says retail sales are hurting as more people sell and shop for goods online.
After letting go of two full time employees, it’s just him and his wife running the place.
“Just hasn’t been enough volunteer work in the store. They’re all stretched doing as much as they can.”
Davis explains donations have slowed down, but people are still in need.
Long time volunteer, Larry Stowell explains that, “this is a place where people can come in and maybe they’re having a bad day. We try to minister. It’s more than just a thrift store.”
Retired educator Bill Swafford volunteers at Second Blessings for five years now.
He says customers are drawn to the library which holds thousands of books.
He sorts through hundreds every week.
“Well, sad because they do a lot of good to help people. That’s the reason why I volunteer here. They do help a lot of people I enjoy doing the books for them.”
Co-Director of Second Blessings Rachel Davis says the store is backlogged on its taxes.
She says they cannot continue any longer.
Liquidation sales have started to help clear merchandise.
For the first Friday and Saturday in June, everything in the store is half off.
After the store closes, the Davis’s plan to continue expanding Living Waters Ministries.
They hope to build a new Christian school and expand it’s food pantry program.