BATH, N.Y. (WENY) -- After being part of the Bath community for 18 years, The Salvation Army Family Thrift Store located on W. Washington Street will no longer be open for business. 

The store closed its door temporarily on March 18th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, over the past few weeks, Headquarters decided it was time for the store to close for good. Lieutenant Darlene Clark, who oversees The Salvation Army Family Thrift Store in Bath and is the administrator for the adult rehabilitation center in Rochester, says Salvation Army stores exist primarily to fund their adult rehabilitation centers, and other programs in the community. 

"The adult rehabilitation center offers hope and health, free of charge to men and women that have lost their way due to alcohol, drugs, homelessness and other life issues. We provide low cost alternatives to families trying to save money, and that's wonderful for our stores. But its secondary to providing the means to operate our centers," says Clark. 

Clark added, "The thrift store did provide a great value to many families, and we've lost a lot of employees. Just losing one is hard."

Clark says several factors went into making this decision. Some of those factors include, increased salaries, and the distance from The Salvation Army's warehouse in Rochester to its store in Bath.

"Unfortunately, the store was not supporting our program as it should and this COVID-19 pandemic has added to the financial pressure. In fact keeping the store open means providing less help to the community, not more," says Clark. 

Clark says they're always open to other properties and proposals for new stores that will help support their mission. 

Statement From Darlene Clark:

"The Salvation Army regularly reviews the financial performance of its stores, services and programs to ensure maximum efficiency, and available offerings are discontinued only when absolutely necessary. Along with expenses from increased salaries and the recent shutdown due to the pandemic, the distance from The Salvation Army's warehouse in Rochester NY added additional pressures. Despite closing down shop at its 380 W. Washington St. location. The Salvation Army stresses that assistance for financial hardship and a variety of other life issues will continue to be available through their service office located at 32 Denison Pkwy East Corning NY and other area stores, including locations in Hornell and Geneva."