Killeen: Thrift store taking precautions before reopening

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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but how can that treasure be protected from the Coronavirus?

Photo by Alex Gibbs

Derrick Lambert and his family have been the proud owners of Southern Thrift in Killeen for the past three years. After being closed over a month due to the Coronavirus, the store will reopen Monday.

As the business plans to reopen, staff have been hard at work to prep the building and clean donations, particularly, items like clothes and shoes.

Lambert says he’s been asking anyone who’s donated items to put them in plastic or trash bags first.

“I’ve got plenty of clothes sitting in the back in sections and it fluctuates,” he said.

“I don’t just get it and put it right out on the shelf. I take it to the wash no matter what because not everything that people donate is even clean.”

While items and clothes will be cleaned, markers are also being placed on the ground to mark proper distancing. A screen shield was also placed at the register.

Since the store is small with tight corners, Lambert is also limiting the number of customers at one time.

“I won’t let no more than two people in my store at a time,” he said.

“With everybody being sick, we got a small building, so we have to keep this place safe and clean.”

Even though the measures may seem extreme, Lambert says you can never be too careful with COVID-19.

“I don’t want my family to get sick,” he said.

“I have three beautiful daughters, a wife and I can’t risk that. I have nieces and nephews and I can’t risk what’s out there coming in here.”