Thrifty shoppers can head back to Goodwill stores in Superior and Duluth, but will have to wait a bit longer before heading to Superior's Salvation Army store.
The Goodwill stores in Superior, Duluth, Ashland and Brainerd started reopening May 18. Goodwill of Duluth is working to reopen its remaining stores in northern Minnesota after being shut down for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, which is a change for some locations, said Scott Vezina, communications and training manager for Goodwill.
Stores in Hermantown, Bemidji, Virginia, Kenwood and Two Harbors are open to accept donations only, and the goal is to have Virginia, Kenwood and Two Harbors open by midweek. When Goodwill is able to get more staff members into the stores in Hermantown and Bemidji, they’ll have a better idea when those stores can open up to customers, Vezina said.
Retail associates and anyone who works with customers are required to wear a mask. Donation attendants are also required to wear gloves, and retail associates are encouraged to wear gloves. Employees will go through COVID-19 training, as well.
In stores, Goodwill installed sneeze guards, put up signs to encourage social distancing and added arrows to the floor to make shopping one-way down aisles.
The donation process will be "as touchless as possible," Vezina said. In Duluth, for example, people can place their donations into bins. However, if someone clearly needs help, they will be assisted.
Goodwill is not requiring customers to wear masks, but is "strongly encouraging" it, Vezina said.
“That may change if circumstances change," he said.
Internally, donations will be quarantined for 72 hours before being processed to keep with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on surfaces.
“It’s been epic for donations and we do need them,” Vezina said.
Superior Salvation Army not open yet
Bargain hunters in Superior will have to wait a bit longer if they’re looking for deals at the Salvation Army store.
Capt. Jason Elcombe said the Salvation Army has only tentative plans to reopen its store in Superior on June 1. The organization is currently working through its plan to keep store staff and customers safe.
Plans could include installing shields at the checkout and limiting shoppers to encourage social distancing, Elcombe said.
“We might not process donations right away,” he said.