Alice’s Vinnies closing

The Vinnies shop in Alice Springs is closing and its future is unclear. Staff were told yesterday and a public announcement was made today.

Acting CEO Martha Swart says the board of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in the NT will work with an Alice Springs sub-committee to come up with a business plan for the future.

Ms Swart said only the shop is closing; the daily emergency relief program and food van will continue and Christmas hampers for the needy will be unaffected.

The reason for the shop closing is that the building requires extensive renovation. It leaks, it needs re-wiring, new air-conditioning: “We can’t have our staff and our customers working in a building like that,” she says. “It’s a valuable property but it will cost a lot to rebuild.”

It’s not clear where the money will come from. Ms Swart says the money raised by the shop goes immediately into the emergency relief program, which assists up to 120 people a month.

The possibility of the shop operating from other premises is one of the things the board and sub-committee will examine. Presumably funding of the relief program is another. – KIERAN FINNANE

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4 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Jules
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I think it’s disgusting to close down as they were a valuable addition to the community. Having done a bit of volunteering there when visiting family I could see they were doing quite well … seems to me that is all the same everywhere when things are going OK there is always someone who wants to drag things down with weak excuses.

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  2. Jo
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Let them close! As a mother of two, on my own and doing it hard a number of years ago, I was actually told that I shouldn’t shop there as I had a job, and it was for needy people only. Not only did this man embarrass me to the core in front of other people, he actually opened the door for me and my two small children. I’ve hated the place ever since, as it’s a constant reminder. Tear the place down and get rid of these so called Good People who run the place.

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  3. carolyn newman
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I agree, the reasons seem to be excuses. I don’t understand why a store that has been serving the community on many levels for around 33 years can be closed by a pathetic little “Closing Down” notice in one media outlet. The staff being told on a Thursday afternoon that the following Friday would be the last day. Slack.

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  4. karen williams
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    That is such a bullshit reason. I spoke to the manager and found out that $50,000 of the profits each year go to major renovations. She has been there for three years and nothing major has been done for at least 10 years, so where is the money? Maybe it was used for the BIG renovations for the other shops in the Northern Territory leaving Alice out again. And how can they legally make the staff redundant and then talk about opening again? I think they wanted to get rid of the payed staff and try to open again with their own people from Darwin.

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