ENGLEWOOD — COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors of the Salvation Army's Family Store in Englewood in March.
But economic realities will keep its doors closed permanently.
"The Salvation Army and our landlord had good intentions," said Capt. Israel Roseno of the Charlotte County Salvation Army.
Roseno said he hopes the organization will be back with another thrift store, but not at its 3325 S. Access Road location in Englewood.
"We want to thank our many customers," he said. "We are not leaving the community."
The Salvation Army, with its church and social services based in Port Charlotte, will be available to Englewood residents, Roseno said. Also, within a year or two, he said the Salvation Army hopes to find a new location and reopen a thrift store in Englewood.
"We had no control over (the COVID-19 pandemic)," Roseno said. But with the closure, he said the Englewood store became a "bleeding component," a financial drain on the Charlotte County Salvation Army's operations and resources.
The Salvation Army is moving merchandise from the Englewood store to its store in Punta Gorda. The Punta Gorda store, at 1048 Tamiami Trail, is in a building the Salvation Army owns.
The Salvation Army moved into the Englewood building and opened in August, 2016. "Their lease is up in August and they decided not to renew it," said Beth Harrison.
Harrison and her husband, Jim, own the building. For 23 years, the Harrisons operated a Badcock furniture franchise there, but then sold the business to another couple in 2011. Badcock corporate offices decided to close the Englewood franchise in 2016.
"It's sad this has to happen," Jim said. Since the Harrisons built the 11,750 square-foot building in 1990, it's been occupied, he said.
The Harrisons now have the building up for sale.