Marketing director: Arc store to offer mind-blowing experience

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Lori Jones, left, chief executive officer of Avocet Communications, and Maggie Scivicque, marketing director of Arc Thrift Stores, are surrounded by merchandise in the Grand Junction store scheduled to open Feb. 27. Jones and Scivicque have been working to publicize the operation. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Maggie Scivicque hopes two words come to mind when customers enter the Arc Thrift store scheduled to soon open in Grand Junction: mind-blowing.

That applies not only to the savings, but also a selection of merchandise that includes clothes, furniture and more. “There are very things we don’t sell,” said Scivicque, marketing director of Arc Thrift Stores.

Moreover, the operation helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, she said.

Scivicque and Lori Jones, chief executive officer of Avocet Communications, led an impromptu tour of the Grand Junction store as part of their promotional and publicity efforts in preparation for the opening.

A grand opening is set for Feb. 27 starting with a ribbon-cutting at 8:30 a.m. Merchandise with yellow tags will be sold for half off that day.

A first Saturday sale is set for 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 29 with most items sold for half off — with the exception of items with current color and green tags.

The Grand Junction location is the first in Western Colorado for Arc Thrift Stores. “And, hopefully, not the last,” Scivicque said.

The organization operates 30 stores and 15 donation stations locations along the Front Range.

The Grand Junction operation ranks among the largest stores. Located in what was formerly a City Market and then Sears outlet in the Eastgate Shopping Center, the building offers 42,400 square feet of space — 27,000 square feet for the sales floor. That affords ample room to sort and store donations as well as display a variety of wares, Scivicque said.

Those wares include appliances, books, clothing, furniture, home decor, kitchen items, jewelry and toys.

Discounts are offered on different merchandise different days of the week, Scivicque said. Half-off discounts are offered on Saturdays. Customers age 55 years and older receive half-off discounts on Tuesdays.

Arc Thrift Stores rotate merchandise as donations come in to offer new items to customers, she said. “They want to see new products.”

Seasonal items — especially those for Halloween, Christmas and other holidays — are stored and brought out for timely shopping, she added.

The response to the impending opening of the Grand Junction store has been encouraging, Scivicque said, both in terms of interest among customers and donations. Donations of gently used merchandise are accepted behind the store.

Sales and donations support an organization that provides a range of services and resources to people with disabilities, Scivicque and Jones said.

The organization supports 15 Arc chapters in Colorado, including chapters in Grand Junction, Delta, Durango and Glenwood Springs. Since 2005, Arc has provided a total of $91 million to those chapters.

The organization offers monthly classes in a variety of life skills and also organizes various social events.

The organization also has been involved with nearly 60 legislative measures that have resulted in $118 million in state expenditures to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

In addition, Arc Thrift Stores is one of the largest employers in the state of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and provides job training, placement and coaching. The staff of 50 and the Grand Junction store includes employees with disabilities.

According to research, Arc Thrift Stores have contributed $2.3 billion to the Colorado economy since 2005.

Jones said Arc Thrift Stores provide yet another benefit in recycling used merchandise rather than sending it landfills. By one estimate, the stores have recycled 1.1 billion pounds of items since 2005, an effort that’s resulted in an estimated waste disposal savings of $36.9 million, she said. “The numbers are huge.”

All things considered, Scivicque said the Arc Thrift Stores operations could be described in two words: mind blowing.

She said she hopes customers shopping at the new Grand Junction store feel the same way.

The Arc Thrift Store in Grand Junction is located in the Eastgate Shopping Center at 2830 North Ave. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.arcthrift.org.