Deseret Industries unveils phased reopening plan

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Following along with other Church of Latter Day Saints operations, Deseret Industries have began the reopening some of their 44 thrift stores in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and California all with new safety and local government recommended guidelines.

Read: Nearly 10,000 cases of coronavirus in Utah

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all Deseret Industries locations closed on March 17, 2020. Although closed to the public, the stores have continued to provide goods and commodities for bishops’ orders and community grants. 

The phased reopening process will begin the week of June 1, according to the DI’s website all of the 21 Utah locations will be reopened no later than June 9th.

Stores will have reduced hours to allow for restocking and sanitization. In general, most stores will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you’re interested in donating used items:

  • Stores will accept donations by appointment only. Visit deseretindustries.org/reopen to schedule a time.
  • Donations of mattresses and box springs are no longer accepted. See a full list of prohibited items at deseretindustries.org/donate.
  • Deseret Industries will quarantine donations. This will limit the number of items that can be accepted during the initial reopening period.
  • Donation drop-off operations may close early because of increased demand and the time required to quarantine each donation.
  • Donors are asked to wait in their vehicle until it is their turn to donate. Once they have reached the drop-off area, donors can remove items from their car and place them in the designated bins or carts.
  • Donors are encouraged to wear masks.

Brent Palmer, Deseret Industries manager of operations said “we are so grateful for everyone who has waited to donate, and we want to accept as many donations as possible. Donated items allow us to help the associates in our job-training program.”

Read: COVID-19 and Movies: Utah Film Center offers alternatives to view upcoming screenings

For those doing general in-store shopping:

  • The number of people in each store will be limited to allow for proper social distancing.
  • All associates and staff will wear gloves and masks. Shoppers are encouraged to wear masks.
  • Carts will be sanitized between customers.
  • Stores will be cleaned more frequently.
  • Signage and floor stickers will help customers and staff follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Fitting rooms, restrooms, and drinking fountains will be temporarily closed.
  • The sales floor will be restocked only while the store is closed.
  • Customers should avoid sitting on furniture or loitering.

While the pandemic has certainly financial hardship for employees and employers, all Deseret Industries staff and associates have continued to be paid during the pandemic. Some staff members and a few associates have been able to work at bishops’ storehouse locations and at Deseret Manufacturing. Job coaches and development counselors reached out to associates to help them make progress on their goals. Additionally, some locations in Utah have been involved in Project Protect, the initiative to provide 5 million masks to health care workers.

Read: Thrift stores take COVID-19 precautions

Palmer adds “We have missed seeing our stores filled with shoppers and donors, and we’ve missed being able to work side by side with our associates.”

Have questions about coronavirus?

Tracy Smith
Curtis Booker, joined the ABC4 family in January of 2019 as a Digital Content Producer. In May of 2019, he transitioned into learning the inner workings of becoming a news producer assisting with various shows. Curtis most recently rejoined the Digital team as a multi-media journalist in February of 2020.

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