THE Tullamore branch of the Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) will open its second Vincent's outlet on Patrick Street, this Thursday July 4.
The charity already operate a shop on Offaly Street adding to the 230 other SVP stores around the country which provide much needed funds. There are now more Vincent's shops in Ireland than there are Dunnes stores, the President of the retail conference of Tullamore SVP Liam O'Callaghan said.
Mr O'Callaghan stressed that ''the reason for the second store is to allow for a better retail presence on the high street.”
“While our other shop is in a great location it's very big, it doesn't attract what we hope this will attract,'' he added. ''This is a retail outlet as distinct from our other shop. So all our sorting, and all out training, will go on in our previous outlet.''
Vincent's was the name first adopted by all the stores in 2012 when the Tullamore branch featured on the TV programme 'Retail Therapy' with Feargal Quinn. According to Liam O'Callaghan this brings a lot of responsibility around standards and training for volunteers.
'All our shops are centrally linked to our headquarters in Limerick with central pricing, the whole purpose is good value for money and a good turnover in the shop.'' SVP also has additional space at Axis Business Park for furniture donations.
''The important thing is that all the money we make in the shop is recirculated into the local area.
The exam results are out in the next couple of weeks, there will be lots of applications for student grants and for supports for college. The big thing for us, is so many young students can't afford to stay in Dublin anymore so our sister conference (Conference of the Assumption Tullamore) support them by giving them grants and it works very well.''
''We really want to get the message across that we appreciate what people do for us and ask people to continue to support us. People are so generous. If it were not for the generosity of the people of Tullamore and the surrounding areas we wouldn't be where we are,'' explained Mr O'Callaghan.
He also praised the volunteers some of whom have been volunteering with SVP for over 20 years.
''People have great loyalty to us both the public and the volunteers. We like to think going into a Vincent's shop is like going on a treasure hunt you never know what you are going to find. People can find all sorts of things, there is designer gear, there are golf clubs, there are records, CDs and books, we could fill the library with books. So I would encourage everyone to come,'' said Liam.
Jacqueline Pilkington is area manager. She also expressed her gratitude to people for their donations, whatever it is whether it is clothes or bric-a-brac, she said.
Jacqueline has noted that many young people are now shopping at Vincent's shop. ''Long ago they wouldn't, but they realise they only wear a certain rig-out on maybe two occasions so they are wiser with their money and its going to charity,'' she added.
The new shop opens its doors at 10am next Thursday.