Virginia Beach thrift store faces closure after pandemic takes a toll

Posted at 3:28 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 19:16:11-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — JCOC Community Thrift on South Plaza Trail could be forced to close for good.

The pandemic drove down business for months. Now they’re at a breaking point and looking for community support.

“It’s been a challenge. This year has been a big challenge,” said owner Lisa Engelhardt.

It hasn’t been easy for Engelhardt to keep her small business going through this pandemic

“We were making about $12 a day and some days—I think our highest [earning] day in November was $45,” she said.

She says her water bill is more than $200 every month and the meager sales aren’t going to cut it much longer.

“It’s hard, it’s very hard, you know, when they send me the totals at night I’m just like ‘okay, this is really going to be a bad month,’” Engelhardt explained.

You can find a little bit of everything at the JCOC Community Thrift in Virginia Beach

Comic books to marvel at, vintage toy sports cars to adore, video games galore, a Christmas tree and even some things for the sports fiends. The hardest thing to find recently has been customers.

On days when it’s too slow, they’re forced to cut the lights and close up shop early.

Now is make or break time for the shop that supports the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center and tough decisions could be just around the corner.

“If for some reason it’s time for us to close, then I guess we’re just going to have to make the decision to do it,” said Engelhardt.

She says she’ll wait and see what the end of the year brings while keeping fingers crossed for a surge in sales for all small businesses this holiday season.