27 June 2023

A familiar shopfront returns to Tumut for locals doing it tough

| Claire Sams
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Vinnies shopfront

The new store will be in Wynyard Street, Tumut. Photo: St Vincent de Paul Canberra/Goulburn.

A fresh start has arrived for those looking to do some shopping while contributing to a good cause as a new Vinnies store in Tumut opens.

Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn’s Tumut store manager Kate Beattie said the return had been eagerly anticipated by volunteers and the community alike.

“It’s a fresh start in a new building and a new location in town after our old store closed,” she said.

“We’re all excited with how the store is looking.”

Discussions for a new store had been going on behind the scenes for a while, said capital region area manager Helen Curtin.

“We had a very old store around the corner from the new location,” Ms Curtin said.

“It was tucked away behind the main street in an extremely old building.

“That was why we decided to look at moving to a new location and take advantage of a new and bigger space.”

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The new store is divided into three spaces, giving distinct areas for shopping by Tumut residents and visitors to the town, for sorting and storage of donations and a third space that is hoped to be used for furniture in the future.

The new building has improved heating and cooling, LED lighting and more storage options, and an exterior shed.

It also has new counters, shelves and racks to match other Vinnies shops, while volunteers will be able to use for-purpose sorting equipment when handling donations.

The single-level structure is new, unlike the previous Tumut store.

“In the old building, people had to go upstairs or downstairs, depending on what they needed,” Ms Curtin said.

“It’s now in one space, on one level.”

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But beyond being a good place to look for a bargain, there is a good cause behind the new store – and Vinnies’ other branches.

“The retail shops are, for Vinnies, like the fundraising arm that makes the money so we can help people in need in Tumut,” Ms Curtin said.

“In the past, and now again with the support since the opening, the whole town has got involved and supported the store. We’re very fortunate, extremely lucky and blessed.”

The increased size of the store would hopefully mean a bigger impact, Ms Beattie said.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to raise money to help our community, to help those less fortunate who need a hand-up,” she said.

“This new store allows us to do that – because it’s a bigger space, we have more stock available.”

While the store has already had a soft opening, Ms Beattie and her team will open the doors on 28 June for a grand opening at noon, which will kick off a clothing sale.

The new Vinnies store in Tumut is at 143 Wynyard Street, and will officially open with a grand launch on 28 June.

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