Salvation Army closing Waukesha store after buy-out

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by Lane Kimble

WAUKESHA -- With deals on clothing, furniture and even artwork, Waukesha's Salvation Army Family Store has generated good  money for the non-profit since 2007.

"It's the type of store people need here," one shopper said.

But by week's end, the store will close, bought out by the Boucher Automotive dealer next door.  That  news is difficult for some shoppers to stomach.

"We've got enough car dealerships in this city," a shopper, asking not to be identified, said.  "We've got more than we need right now.  [The Salvation Army has] a lot of good deals and it's an all the way down the line helping hand win-win situation."

Boucher bought the Salvation Army's portion of the building at the end of 2012 and the SA had been leasing month to month.  At the beginning of 2014, Boucher told the Salvation Army it planned to move in.  A member of the Boucher business management team wouldn't say what the dealer's plans were and couldn't comment on any questions Sunday night.

"It's a hardship for us, no doubt," Salvation Army Captain Gerhard Scheler said.

Capt. Scheler stressed Boucher has been more than fair, understanding it's just business.  But losing his second-most active store, that helps fund a downtown Milwaukee adult rehab center, has Scheler concerned.

"We know of quite a few customers and donors that come in here and they just won't have this spot any more, so that  breaks out heart," Scheler said.

Finding an affordable location in the Waukesha area hasn't been easy, although "give up" isn't in the captain's vocabulary.

"God almighty, who is in charge of the Salvation Army, will be helping us find an alternate location," Scheler said.

The store closes Saturday, July 5, but you can still drop off donations there until the end of July.  Scheler says all employees at the store will be offered other jobs with the Salvation Army.

For more info or to schedule a donation pick-up, visit this link.

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