A Huntley thrift store that raises money for its own nonprofit organization has left its former home on Route 47 and moved into the Huntley Outlet Center.
Sweet Repeats Thrift Shoppe is holding its grand opening this weekend inside the store, which is housed near the Gap Outlet. All the store's proceeds go toward the Pioneer Center for Human Services, a 55-year-old organization that supports children and adults with behavioral health services, counseling, developmentally disabled programs and homeless and sexual assault services.
Pioneer Center runs the store and owns McHenry County PADS. Sweet Repeats is the only store it operates, said Laurie Bivona, Pioneer Center's director of marketing. The store sells new and gently used items within an 11,000 square-foot space.
Due to a reworking of the road configuration that Bivona said made it harder for staff and shoppers to access the store, Pioneer officials decided it was best to move the store, which had been at 10514 Route 47 for three years.
Pioneer Center selected the outlet mall, which has 41 stores, after its administrative and finance teams conducted a six- to nine-month research project on various locations.
Despite the ongoing construction on the nearby Route 47 and Interstate 90 interchange, the outlet mall was the best option, Bivona said. The location was particularly attractive because Pioneer Center wants to grow its customer base and build awareness for what it does in the county.
"I think construction anywhere is a concern and in McHenry County, there's pretty much construction in every town you can go to," Bivona said. "We're optimistic that it will not interfere with the store and actually hopefully enhance the location."
Sweet Repeats opened a month ago at the outlet mall and is posting sales that are 40 percent higher than the previous location, Bivona said. On average, the store has between 75 and 100 shoppers daily, she said.
"Our customer base followed us over, so we're very excited about that," Bivona said, adding that new customers have discovered the store at the mall. "It's definitely a store for a bargain shopper, which is why we also thought the outlet store would be a good place."
Items at the store cost from 10 cents to $200 on everything from clothes to furniture, toys, jewelry and small appliances.
The grand opening, which features a ribbon-cutting ceremony and store specials, will be held Friday through Sunday. Donations are accepted during regular store hours which are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Representatives from the outlet mall could not be reached for comment.