Salvation Army thrift store in Waukesha closing in July

Published on: 6/18/2014

The Salvation Army thrift store in Waukesha is closing on July 5, Capt. Gerhard Scheler said Wednesday. 

The thrift store building, 1537 E. Moreland Blvd., was bought by Boucher Auto Group at the end of 2012, Scheler said, but just recently Boucher notified Salvation Army that it wants to use that space.

"We would like to stay there," Scheler said. "We’re not closing on our own. But I understand. It’s business."

A representative from Boucher declined to comment on what they have planned for the site.

Community Development Specialist Jeff Fortin, who works in the city's planning department, said he hasn't heard from Boucher officials lately.

But Fortin said if Boucher plans on making any changes to the exterior of the 20,000-square-foot building it would have to come before the city.

Scheler said Salvation Army has until the end of July to have everything moved out of the store.

After losing the Waukesha location, the nearest remaining Salvation Army thrift stores are in West Allis, Franklin, Brown Deer, Burlington and Madison.

However, Scheler said the Brown Deer location, 4747 W. Bradley Road, will be moving to 75th and Brown Deer Road in Milwaukee in the coming months. 

Scheler said he has offered the employees at the Waukesha location the option to transfer to the new Milwaukee location.

The money that is made at the Salvation Army thrift stores goes to fund the Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center in downtown Milwaukee. The center is for men recovering from alcohol and drug abuse and the program allows them to stay there for up to a year.

"It's going to hurt us for a few months," Scheler said of not having the income from the Waukesha store. 

Since being informed in March that they would have to vacate the Waukesha store, Scheler has been looking for a new location in the area.

"We haven't had any definite leads," Scheler said. "So we're still looking. We'd like to stay in Waukesha but it's not going to happen before we close (our current store) down."

Realistically, he said, it could take until the summer of 2015 to open another Waukesha store if a site is found and the proper negotiations work out.