KEEN browsers and prospective customers had formed a glad-hearted queue even before the front door of Foster’s Little Opp Shop at the Pearl Park end of Main Street reopened for business on Thursday October 15, 2020.
The Opp Shop, together with its rather bigger though younger sibling the Garage Sale Outlet (GSO) around the corner in the former Ray Dower Motors building, had been closed for several months because of COVID-19 concerns.
A team of volunteers, including Jenni Drangsholt, Marg O’Donnell, and Sue Sagar, staffed the Little Opp Shop on Thursday and they were just as pleased to be back on duty as their bargain-hunting patrons were to see them there.
There were however some important COVID-19-driven differences to the way the Little Opp Shop welcomes its clientele these days, with careful social distancing and a limit on the number of people allowed inside at any one time.
The Opp Shop’s staff also took careful note of the names and contact details of everyone who came in for tracing purposes and ensured that facemasks were being worn.
A hand-sanitising station was set up just inside the door, with a row of the now-familiar sticky tape arrows on the floor directing a clockwise pathway through the displays, and a wide sheet of Perspex guarding the staff behind the counter.
The Little Opp Shop runs on a cash-only basis and the staff had even figured out how to overcome that particular and potentially infectious conundrum by having a dish of disinfectant at the ready to dip all notes and coins.
“Just drop your money into the bowl,” staff member Sue told a second-hand book buyer, who spontaneously entered into the spirit of the occasion with a cheerful “in that case, you’d better keep the change, then!”
During the course of the day, further lines of waiting shoppers waxed and waned outside the Opp Shop, and all with the consistent themes of pleasure and anticipation.
“It really is wonderful we’ve got our Little Opp Shop back, and a lot of people are looking forward to having the GSO available again, too,” one dedicated local opp-shopper said.
The Little Opp Shop will be open one day a week to begin with.
While the GSO itself will not be restarting to trade, on one day a week as well, until Thursday October 29, it is conducting another “donations only” session on Thursday October 22 between 10 am and 3 pm.
The GSO will happily accept a wide range of items on that day, with the exception of furniture and electrical goods for the moment, and all new arrivals will go into temporary quarantine before being sorted, priced, and added to the floor stock.
All proceeds from the Little Opp Shop and the GSO are shared by Prom Country Aged Care and the Linton Court Retirement Village.