Main Street Store in final days before move to Legion
ALBION – When it started eight years ago, the Main Street Store was intended as a place to teach job readiness skills for unemployed residents and also provide quality “nearly new” merchandise at low prices.
The store has been a big success, expanding to a neighboring storefront about two years after it first opened. The store outgrew those two storefronts in the downtown, said Angel Slick, the retail operations manager.
“We’ve just grown and grown through the programs that we do,” Slick said at the store today at 49 North Main St.
Community Action of Orleans & Genesee operates the store and was looking for a bigger site. About a year ago it identified the American Legion as an ideal location for the store. The agency recently closed on the American Legion and has been busy painting the inside, working on the floor and making other improvements.
The Main Street Store expects to open in the Legion site in about two weeks with a grand opening planned from Oct. 22-25.
The agency works with about 100 people a year in the job readiness program. Slick said about 65 usually find jobs with 45 keeping those jobs for at least 90 days. Those job connections are the program’s greatest success, Slick said.
The store offers assistance with resumes, letters and job searches, while providing skills that would be valuable to employers.
While the site serves as a job-training ground, Slick noticed that the community has responded to the merchandize, from clothes, to furniture and other household items. The Main Street Store won’t sell items that aren’t “like new.”
The store has a laundry machine and dryer, and every clothing item is washed before being displayed.
“We launder all of the clothes,” Slick said. “We avoid that thrift store smell.”
The Legion will boost the available retail space by 1 ½ times. There will be more parking and much more accessibility for customers, said Daisy Stroud, donation program specialist for the store. She tries to attract merchandise, volunteers and financial donations.
Community Action staff and volunteers have been busy getting the Legion ready for the store, while also boxing up some of the merchandise from the two downtown storefronts.
“The new location will be so much easier for the customers to meander through the racks,” Stroud said. “We’re striving for an upscale boutique where we can cater to all.”
The Legion is getting a makeover. The main room will have the store merchandise. The dining room will be used as a classroom. The Legion has access to the back bar for 18 months. When that time is up, Community Action could transform that space into the classroom, and use the other classroom space as a more upscale chic section, Slick said. She is grateful for the possibilities.
The new location will be open later on Tuesdays through Fridays until 7 p.m., and until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Monday. Currently, the store closes at 5 p.m.
“We’re trying to be there for the community,” Slick said.