BILLINGS – Due to declining sales, the Montana Rescue Mission (MRM) announced Thursday it will close its Heights Bargain Center and consolidate with its Billings west end store.
The Bargain Center at 1321 Main St. will close and merge with the Bargain Center at 1223 24th St. W.
Sales have decreased the last four years, from $824,503.71 in fiscal year 2014 to $643,531.72 in fiscal year 2018, officials for the nonprofit said.
Net income in 2013 was $181,997.75, ranged from $109,733.10 to $139,664.43 annually over the next four years, The rescue mission lost $61,274.13 from sales in 2018.
Management says online shopping has hurt the Bargain Center and difficulty filling jobs has forced the store to close its receiving area early.
“Just as other Billings businesses are struggling to fill employee vacancies, we are faced with the same challenge,” MRM executive director Perry Roberts said in a news release. “The vacancies have impacted our ability to process donations prior to the store closing each day resulting in the need to shut down the donation receiving area early in the day.”
The thrift stores help support the Montana Rescue Mission.
“This has been a very difficult decision for leadership within the Montana Rescue Mission and our goal is to always be really good stewards of what this community blesses us with,” said Denise Smith, Rescue Mission public relations director. “And that’s why we’ve had to make this hard decision.”
The Heights Bargain Center will stop taking donations on Sept. 1 and close on Oct. 31.
The resuce mission opened its first Bargain Center downtown in 1985 and closed it in 2013.
The Heights store opened on Wicks Lane in 1998 and moved to Main Street in 2010.
The West End store opened in 2002.