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Full Circle thrift opens at new location on Sperryville Pike

Full Circle Thrift opens today at its new location, but with the same philosophy of “Culpeper Helping Culpeper.”

The non-profit organization has a new site, a new manager and expanded floor space, but the same helpful staff.

The new site for the thrift store, 12308 Sperryville Pike, has had previous iterations as a swimming pool and an auction center.

With an additional 80Full0 square feet of floor space – all on one level – the new location is both more accessible and less crowded inside. The word “spacious” comes to mind.

“There is all this open space and it's much more manageable for getting things set up,” said Pam Lohr, who managed the store since 2004 as part of her job at the Culpeper Department of Human Services. “This will make it easier for shoppers – for people to see things they normally wouldn't see. Before people tended to go only to the first or second floor, not always realizing there were two floors.”

Lohr has returned to her social services position full time and turned the management of the store over to longtime assistant manager Kathy Gordon.

“It's a little scary, but I've worked with Pam for eight years and I can still reach her by telephone,” said Gordon Monday afternoon. “I'm looking forward to managing here. It will be easier to run a store that is all on one floor.”

Full Circle takes donations from the community, prepares them for sale and returns the money earned to the community.

“The money goes into either our emergency family fund or a fund to help the elderly in the community,” Gordon said.

Items that are not sold the first month they are on the floor are marked down over a period of three more months.

“The second month we sell them for 25 percent off, 50 percent off the third month and 75 percent off the fourth month,” Gordon said. “After that we put them in a bin for people to take for free. Clothes, metal and cardboard are recycled.”

The 14 employees of the store are kept busy sorting and displaying new donations. Lohr said Full Circle sells approximately 3,500 items per week.
Although the store is now open to the public, there will be a grand opening celebration Dec. 4.

Lohr said she will miss the old building which was rented from Taft Construction for the past six and a half years.

“Taft has been very good to us and it's sad to see the building empty,” Lohr said. “It was a big step up from our first small location.
“But we will have five times the amount of parking at the new location and more space. It will also be easier for the guys to unload trucks. It’s a good move from a business perspective.”

Lohr said she did not know what business will occupy the old thrift store space.

Gordon said she likes that the new location is “lighter and brighter and has a nice kitchen.”

But it's the customers who both ladies feel will benefit most from the move.

“We've made friends with most of our customers and I think they are really going to like it here,” said Gordon. “We want them to enjoy it because they are like a big extended family for us.”

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