Linds gives thrift store a big boost

Don Dillon of Langley prepares Monday to remove a section of shelving in the pharmacy department of the former Linds Langley Drug. The shelving will go to Good Cheer’s Langley Thrift Store. - Roy Jacobson / The Record
Don Dillon of Langley prepares Monday to remove a section of shelving in the pharmacy department of the former Linds Langley Drug. The shelving will go to Good Cheer’s Langley Thrift Store.
— image credit: Roy Jacobson / The Record

Merchandise has been flying off the shelves at Good Cheer’s Thrift Store in Langley, and soon there will be more retail runways for takeoff.

Thousands of dollars worth of shelving and display fixtures from the former Linds Langley Drug, which closed this past winter, have been donated to Good Cheer for use in its soon-to-be-expanded thrift store on Anthes Avenue.

“It’s a wonderful gift,” said Kathy McLaughlin, director of Good Cheer.

The shelving was donated by Ron Lind, owner of the Linds pharmacies, who reluctantly closed the Langley store in March due to declining sales, and to consolidate in his newly expanded Freeland outlet.

Lind also owns the pharmacy across from Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville.

“We’re really happy they could be put to use,” Lind said Tuesday of the shelving. “We’re happy to have it stay in Langley. Good Cheer is more than deserving.”

Lind said if the shelving were to be purchased new, it would probably cost more than $35,000.

Adam Lind, Ron Lind’s son and general manager of the company, said Monday the firm sold a number of interior items from the Langley store, then looked around for a good cause to receive the rest.

“They were one of the first to come to mind,” Adam Lind said of Good Cheer. “They’re a great organization. A lot of people benefit from them.”

The Langley pharmacy building, which the Linds own, has been vacant since the outlet closed, and remains for lease.

McLaughlin said Lind’s donation fits right into Good Cheer’s determination to use recycled materials in all its projects, as it did when it created its headquarters and food bank at Bayview.

The remodel of the Langley Thrift Store will add 1,700 square feet of work area and retail space on the second floor of its building, McLaughlin said.

A new staircase will be built, and an elevator installed, she said.

The total project is expected to cost $500,000, but it will be developed in phases as donations come in, McLaughlin said.

She said the gift of the Lind fixtures won’t lower the cost of the renovation, because Good Cheer always intended to reuse donated materials.

“But now we’ll have first-class stuff,” she said.

Coming from the drugstore will be modular shelving, gondolas, sales counters, display cabinets — many lighted and glass-enclosed — and 24 feet of full-height shelf modulars, said Les Asplund of Clinton.

Asplund, who works for Ron Lind, was on hand at the drugstore on Monday to supervise the removal and relocation of the donated materials. He said he expected the job to take about two days. On Monday morning, a half-dozen volunteers were on hand.

McLaughlin said some of the shelving will be put to use right away, and some will be stored until the remodeling is complete.

She said business is booming at the charity’s thrift stores in Langley and Clinton in the current economy, and that the new shelving and expanded retail space upstairs in Langley will help move the merchandise quicker.

Good Cheer receives donated clothing and household and personal items at its Bayview facility, then distributes them to its thrift stores for sale, with profits going to help fund the food bank.

McLaughlin said the charity takes in far more in donations than it can display at its thrift outlets, meaning much of the merchandise has to be stored until retail space is made available.

Currently, South Whidbey School District provides storage in its bus barn in exchange for a $100 annual membership in Good Cheer, McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said the donated shelving should also provide a little nostalgia along with the increased display space.

“People have been missing Linds, and now a part of it will be at Good Cheer,” she said. “It’s a blessing.”

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