SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The Hui O' Na Wahine's Thrift Shop, here, is currently experiencing a major overhaul in the way it does business with the hiring of new store manager Kim Morton.

Morton, along with her staff and volunteers, has completed a major store realignment to make it easier for customers to enjoy their shopping experience.

"We've established departments in kind of a 'rooms to go' format to make shopping easier," explained Morton.

Customers will now find items grouped by categories in sections such as sporting goods, electronics, discount clothing, kitchen and small appliances sections.

One of the best changes has been the creation of the toy center. The new toy center not only allows children to find all the toys in one location, but it also helps with the clutter around the store, Morton explained.

Shoppers will notice that Morton also made a decision to mix consignment items with regular Thrift Shop merchandise.

"In the past, consignments were in the back of the store, but now they are throughout," said Morton. "(Mixing the merchandise) makes it easier for the customer to find what they want, and it benefits the seller because their items get better placement to sell quickly."

In the clothing section, customers will now find clothes organized by size, instead of color. She said the reorganization has had a huge impact on sales, and it has taken some time for regular customers to adjust.

"Change is always hard, but I think it will be better for the store in the long run," Morton said.

Customers should also note that the Thrift Shop is doing away with the "T-shirt Color of the Month" promotion in October and adopting a new way to earn discounts on every purchase.

"Nylon Thrift Shop bags will be sold, and all customers who bring in their own bag will receive 50-percent off all merchandise. This will cut down on plastic bags and help the environment too," said Ashley Enos, Thrift Shop liaison. (Consignment items are not included in the offer.)

Sasha Griffin, president, Hui O'Na Wahine, said "It's an entirely new store. Things work better, people are finding things more easily."

And the more shoppers find, the more they buy, which in turn allows the club to offer more assistance through scholarships and welfare grants.

Enos explained why the Thrift Shop is so important to the community and announced that of the $32,400 donated back to the community, 75 percent came from Thrift Shop revenue.

According to Morton, the store changes help support the club and Thrift Shop's mission to provide a quality, customer-centered, friendly shopping experience while raising funds to serve the community as a source for scholarships, welfare and Soldier-centered programs.

Morton's dreams for the store doesn't end here. She invites everyone to join in her journey to be the best Thrift Shop on Oahu.

"We are always looking for volunteers to assist us and have flexible options available to work with busy schedules," she said.

Thrift Shop volunteers get the first pick of new merchandise, free child care at a Child Development Center hourly care provider (up to 16 hours per month), and they receive more on consignments, half-priced items and, of course, meet new people.

Morton invites the community to stop by and see all the changes and contribute to making the community a better place.

All profits from the Thrift Shop are donated back to the community through scholarships and welfare grants.

The Thrift Shop is located next to Army Community Service, Schofield Barracks, and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays and the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The shop is closed the third Thursday of the month.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16