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Experienced Goods Thrift Shop, currently located at Transportation Center, hopes to relocate to 80 Flat Street by the start of summer. Experienced Goods shifted the collection of donations to the CF Church Building, a move considered highly successful for donors and staff and led to the decision to relocate the retail space next door.

BRATTLEBORO — Experienced Goods Thrift Shop, which provides a majority of the fundraising to prop up Brattleboro Area Hospice, will be moving its retail operations this spring from the Transportation Center across the street to 80 Flat St. in the CF Church Building.

This move will put the store next door to the shop’s current donation drop-off site, where the group rents space and some of the staff are working.

“During the pandemic we wanted to split receiving donations because it really is a whole other part of the business from the retail area,” said Susan Parris, executive director of Brattleboro Area Hospice. “So we moved across the street, and we have a large room there that is now our storage area, and our staff sort and process items there.”

Even though the locations are just across the street, that move split up the staff. Relocation will help re-integrate employees so they can help each other and interact more easily.

Janet Wallstein, former owner of 80 Flat St., offered the storage space to the group for free during the pandemic.

“It was just a wonderful gift, and it allowed us to safely take things from our customers and keep running the retail space,” Parris said.

Her group began thinking how it might be good to bring the retail space over because of the free parking and how operations might be affected by construction at 47 Flat St., where M&S Development is planning a mixed-use project with apartments and co-working space.

Paul Belogour, who also owns the Reformer’s parent company, is the owner of 80 Flat St., which is also known as the CF Church Building. A dentist, hair salon and the Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market are housed there.

Currently, the plan is to relocate the shop in May. However, there’s no firm date.

“We have to make sure we can get the materials and carpenters,” Parris said. “Just hearing stories of people having trouble getting work done because of the pandemic, we can’t have a date yet. I’m sure closer, we’ll have a sense of it.”

The Transportation Center, a parking garage with retail space on Flat Street, is owned by the town. Town Manager Yoshi Manale said town staff are disappointed Experienced Goods will be leaving the spot but “happy they are staying downtown and providing shoppers with vintage clothing and goods.”

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“The Dottie’s and the Experienced Goods space vacancy allows the town to look at the entire Transportation Center and evaluate what improvements need to be made on the 20-year-old building,” he said Tuesday in an email response to the Reformer. “In the meantime, we are looking at short-term lease opportunities and the possibility of public or private art spaces. As of today, we have no set plans but hope to have some tenants set in the next few months.”

More details on the thrift shop’s relocation will be announced later, according to a statement from Brattleboro Area Hospice. The hospice says it provides “a broad range of services for living and dying well, focusing on end-of-life, bereavement and advance care planning.” All services are provided free of charge and are available to anyone living in Southeastern Vermont or bordering New Hampshire towns.

Parris said the pandemic has “definitely affected us.”

“We’re doing well, but it definitely had an impact,” she said. “Initially, when the governor closed everything down in 2020, we had to close, so that was hard.”

The thrift shop covers about 60 percent of the hospice’s budget. After the stay-at-home order was lifted, the shop reopened with protocols for masking and preventing crowding.

Although sales have not rebounded to where they were before the pandemic, Parris said, “they’re still doing really well.”

“We’re hopeful with this move and the easing of at least this surge that the store will continue to do well,” she said. “It’s a great place.”

Parris said in addition to funding the hospice, the shop is also “a great place to re-use and recycle.” She pointed out that people can pick up inexpensive items if they’re on a budget.

“It’s a wonderful service to the community and to hospice,” Parris said. “Our work at hospice is in person with people, so it really has been a challenge for us giving support to people who are dying and grieving. That has been a challenge for us in the pandemic.”

The hospice can be reached at 802-257-0775 or found at brattleborohospice.org.