boynton was indulging in a quick bit of retail therapy up at St Vincent's when she overheard a whisper of a rumour behind the counter
"Apparently the Salvos are thinking of privatising their op shops"
A hush, boynton hovers near the encased teaspoons.
"They can't do that?!"
"They're the salvos. They can do whatever they like."
Much muttering followed along with the disclaimer that it was heard second hand on the radio and they were waiting for confirmation.
(as boynton hovered near the confirmation material)
Boynton hasn't found any evidence herself, but such a move wouldn't surprise her. She has seen the old local gradually transform from cavernous, eclectic, chaotic treasure-trove where things were often unmarked and prices negotiable, to a kind of chain-store. Cleaner, slicker, centralised but a bit soul-less. They already seem privatised enough.
But the ultimate in privatised is probably the garage sale - and this was one factor cited recently by a Board member in the harsh commercial decision to close down a small, long running op shop that was once a haunt of boynton and family.
The local paper ran the story Fury at op shop closure plan
"It's surprising to see the affluence of homes that have garage sales...but that's the way our social fabric's working, so a lot of our material's being diverted...he said many other small shops faced similar financial problems." Progress Leader 28/7/03
Comments: 2nd hand
I once worked at a Salvos op shop. It was the lowest point in my life. If privatisation ultimately led to the vanishing of Salvos op shops from the face of the earth, I would not be sad to see them go.
Posted by James Russell at August 13, 2003 11:05 PM
No - that really "would" be the end of civilisation as we know it. Unthinkable.
But I've seen some things and heard some stories from Salvo workers I've befriended over the years to suggest your experience is not unique, James.
There's a high turnover of staff and - it would seem - staff morale, so it largely depends on the current regime as to the mood of the store.
(btw - this would seem to add another dimension to the link you posted recently about the uxb scare in an op shop ;) )
Posted by boynton at August 13, 2003 11:35 PM