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Salvation Army Opens Polson Branch
New downtown thrift shop makes home in old liquor store
Polson residents now have a new spot for holiday shopping with the opening of a Salvation Army thrift store in downtown. The small shop is a branch of the organization’s massive Kalispell store.

Earl Houtz, business administrator for the Salvation Army in Kalispell, said the new store has been in the works for three years and opened on Nov. 20. Houtz said previously people from Lake County would make the trek north to shop at the Salvation Army in Kalispell.

“We had been looking for a long time to expand our services and we have a lot of customers from Polson and Lake County,” he said.

At 41,200 square feet, the Salvation Army’s Kalispell location is one of the charity’s largest stores in the West. Houtz said it attracts 125,000 customers annually. The new Polson spot is just 4,000 square feet, but has been seeing a steady stream of shoppers since it opened last month. Before it opened as a store run by the Salvation Army, the building on the corner of Second Street and Highway 93 was a liquor store.

“How’s that for a change,” Houtz said.

The new location employs five people, including a manager from Kalispell. In order to open the new store, Houtz said they had to stock it with items from Kalispell. Eventually, the Polson shop will be able to survive off local donations.

Although the store has only been open for a few weeks, Houtz said it is already exceeding expectations.

“There has been a very good response and sales have been much better than we anticipated,” he said.

The new Polson Salvation Army thrift store is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information call (406) 883-2583.
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