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By Mike Hazlip—
After more than two years of vacancy, the former Smart & Final building on Auburn Boulevard has a new tenant.
The Charity Shop opened its doors July 1, and manager Casey Underwood told The Sentinel business has been brisk ever since.
Inventory comes from big box retailers such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, Amazon, Ashley Furniture, and Cost Plus World Market, according to Underwood. The company buys overstock items, customer returns, and damaged boxes for re-sale at about half the retail price.
Charity Shop Wholesale was started by Mike and Samantha Scott, whose first store opened in Dixon. Citrus Heights is the second location. According to the company’s website, 10% of all profits are donated to a variety of nationwide charities.
The owners were not available for comment due to illness, Underwood said, but she described the couple as generous and willing to help the community.
“If they [customers] don’t like the price, or they’re going to walk away from something, then just give it to them,” Underwood said about the owner’s direction for the store. “Ask what they can afford and give it back, give it to the community.”
Underwood said quality control is one of their top concerns, and the staff works to make sure items are complete and undamaged. Charity Shop Wholesale does not offer refunds, but can offer store credit. She also has organized a counter where customers are welcome to try out items before taking them out of the store.
She said the biggest challenges have been completing inspections prior to opening, and hiring quality workers. The store sat vacant for months while they worked through the permit process, Underwood said.
As for employees, Underwood is looking to hire more people as she works to get the store up and running with inventory.
“We just wanted to get the doors open thinking we would hire later, but it’s been really busy every day,” she said.
Charity Shop Wholesale is open Monday through Saturday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. and Sundays 10 a. m. to 2 p. m. and is located at 8481 Auburn Blvd.
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