All 7 St. Vinny's stores closing because coronavirus pandemic

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul plans to close all seven of its thrift stores in Dane County temporarily as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the retail industry.

The St. Vinny's stores will shut down at 5 p.m. Saturday and approximately 240 people will be furloughed, the organization said. It expects the furlough to last through April 11, unless the stores were reopened before then. The stores hours had already been reduced

The Society said it will still pay its furloughed staff 80 percent of their wages and the employees can used pooled time or sick leave to make up the rest. It also has offered to continue to pay its share of health insurance plans.

Once the stores close, the organization will no long accept donated goods at those locations and they will also not schedule and home pick-ups. Anyone wishing to donate can still use the drop boxes set up around the county.

CEO & Executive Director Ernie Stetenfeld said the organization plans to continue with its programs throughout the community, although it has had to adjust some of its operations.

"The importance of those services – food pantry, charitable pharmacy and housing programs among them – has only increased as local households coping with poverty deal with the challenges of the pandemic," he said.

Stetenfeld also wanted to remind the community that without the stores, St. Vincent de Paul is wholly dependent upon donations to continue its work and said online donations can be made here.