Thrift store allowing customers to shop by appointment

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One thrift store in South Charleston is going the extra mile to protect their customers from COVID-19.

All items at Heart and Hand thrift store are donated, and the proceeds go back toward community programs they sponsor.

Like most retail stores in the state, Heart and Hand, a nonprofit thrift store, plans on reopening to the public tomorrow.

But in order to shop, you have to make an appointment.

The shop is taking appointments from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and scheduling them for Thursday. They will be scheduling future appointments at a later time for Friday and Saturday.

"So when we found out we were able to open, we said 'let's give them the chance to make an appointment and come in and shop safely,' " said Jenny Kenner, the volunteer and donation coordinator.

To make an appointment, you have to message the thrift store with your name and number on Facebook. Soon afterward, a manager will get back to you to schedule an appointment.

The appointments last about 35 to 45 minutes, and the store will be cleaned for 15 minutes after each appointment is finished.

Heart and Hand staff also plan on closing the store at noon on Thursday to deep clean. Appointments will resume at 1 p.m..

In order to protect customers from COVID-19 managers have the following rules in place:

  • Groups can be no more than seven people per appointment

  • Face coverings must be worn while shopping

  • Customers must adhere to social distancing

"The rules come from the CDC guidelines, and we wanted to be as strict as we can be without burdening people," Keener said. So, we just want to make sure everyone is safe."

In order to help keep track of those coming in and out, customers will be entering through the back door and leaving through the front door.

Employees say the whole idea came about as a way to thank their Facebook supporters. They also did it do protect their elderly workers, who also make up a larger percent of their customer count.

If everything goes right during the next three days, managers will look into offering the appointments again in the future.

The store is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on business days.