The award-winning FORCE Cancer Charity shop in Heavitree closes today (Friday, August 21) for essential refurbishments.
Building work will begin on September 1 and the first phase is due to be completed in time for a partial re-opening in the first week of October.
Phase 2 should be done by the end of October so that the shop can fully re-open in early November.
Shop manager Anna Heard said: “It’s our last trading day this Friday. We have lots of clearance bargains going on including 10 CDs for a £1, all children’s books 10p, adults’ books 40p and all clothes at least 50 per cent off, many at £1.”
The shop in Fore Street has many extremely loyal customers.
“Only this morning someone said ‘Promise me you’re not closing down forever because I don’t know what we’d do if you did!’ I want to reassure everyone that we’ll be back soon and our shop will remain the amazing treasure trove it’s always been,” said Anna.
Renovations will include new roofing, some structural work, total rewiring and redecoration.
While the shop is closed, FORCE is still keen to receive donations. Items can be dropped off on weekdays at the Cancer Support Centre in grounds of the RD&E Hospital (Wonford) and at the shop next week.
From September 1 we will be receiving donations at a storage unit just along the road from the shop at 51 Fore Street, Heavitree, behind NatWest Bank, from Monday to Saturday between 9:30am and 4:30pm.
The FORCE van will also continue making collections and those can be arranged by calling 01392 271652.
“We will still be in the shop next week to clear everything out ready for the building works to commence,” said Anna. “From 1st September if people can drop off donations at the new lock-up, that would be great as we would still love their donations ready for our partial re-opening at the beginning of October.”
The shop has been trading for 20 years and has made a net contribution of £2million to FORCE in that time. It has just won the award as the most profitable in its category from the Charity Retail Association for the 17th year in a row.
It provides significant income for the charity, which needs to raise £1million every year to provide all the free services it offers to support anyone locally affected by cancer.