St. Vincent de Paul Shops, The Village Centre, Lucan. Tel: 01-6219569.
Have you visited Vincent's (Vincent de Paul) Shop in Lucan yet?
If not you are in for a big surprise at the wide range of fashion for men, women and children, books, dvds, toys and bric-a-brac on offer.
Some Newsletter staff paid a visit this week and were shown how the whole operations works from beginning to end by the ever efficient manageress, Madeleine. To say we were taken aback by the shear amount of work involved is an understatement.
Vincent's has two outlets at The Village Centre, in Lucan – the smaller of which is the original shop on the go since 2009. This little shop prospered so well that a second premises was acquired nearby just over a year ago, and it's been onward and upward since then. The original shop is now a Discount Store, and both shops have the most inviting window displays in Lucan – all done by volunteers!
How it works
The whole operation begins when somebody brings a bag of clothes etc through the front door of the shop. These bags are taken upstairs where they are carefully sorted, tagged and priced.
Above: Joe and Madeleine busy in the shop
Upstairs is really the hub of the venture – the busy volunteer workers are busy hovering round the multiple donations. There are stacks of clothes hangars awaiting their garments; shoes, handbags and all sorts of fashion accessories wait their turn for attention; huge Teddy Bears are willing someone to come for them, a Christmas Corner is bulging at the seams; there is a rack of very elegant dresses which may well wend their way to a Debs this year!
And just as important is the little tea room where the volunteers can grab a cuppa and have a chin wag as they break from the never ending work – they did point out to us that they don't look on it as work at all, being there mainly for the enjoyment and camaraderie. With 35 to 40 volunteers from all walks of life, the craic must be good!
Yvonne, Martina, Marie Claire and Pattie were busy sorting through clothes.
On the shop floor
When all items are sorted and priced, they are brought to the shop floor where they are further organised into different sections.
Ladies sizes are generally sorted by the colour of the hanger, mostly red, but a black hanger denotes an extra large size, making it easy for the shopper to spot. We spotted some lovely summery blouses and tops in this section.
On the opposite wall is the 'Elegance Range' – this is all very good quality designer wear very reasonably prices. Close by is the Mens and Childrens sections. A basket full of small baby items, which appeared to be brand new, were selling for just .50cent each! Indeed most items in the shops are either new or almost new.
There was also a Bargain Rail – everything on this going for just €3.00 – these were items which hadn't sold from the main rails in the past month, and were now moving down the chain. If they don't sell here, some may be sent to their Discount Store, or else they will be carefully wrapped and labelled, and sent to HQ in Sean McDermott Street, from where they will be distributed to shops in other areas.
Madeleine told us that the Lucan Shops, unlike shops in some areas, never have to go looking for goods to sell, thanks to the generosity of locals.
Books & DVDs
Vincent's has a comprehensive range of books and DVDs – something for everyone. It is easy to browse through the books which are neatly on shelves in a room all on their own – like a little library!
Both Lucan premises are bright and airy with changing rooms to try on garments, and the staff are the friendliest and most helpful you'll ever come across.
A Loyalty Card system is in operation in Vincent's in Lucan. If you spend €50 over a time, you'll receive a voucher for €5!
This Loyalty Card can be used in any of the Dublin regions Vincent's Shops.
"How did we do?"
We also spotted a rack of helpful leaflets in various languages, and there were also customer service questionnaires/feed back forms, which appreciative customers might fill out if they have a minute. These days, people are quick enough to complain, but isn't it nice to let someone know if they are doing a job well also!
Despite having nearly 40 Volunteers at the moment, VINCENT'S WANTS MORE!
"TEAMWORK" appears to be the motto at Vincent's, and you won't meet a more welcoming team. All wanted to tell us how much they enjoy working there, even though many were a little apprehensive in the beginning. In no time at all they settled in and got to know the ropes.
A Volunteer works just 4 hours per week – whether a morning or afternoon shift.
Application Forms are available in the shop - we guarantee it will be a new window opening in your life!
Vincent's depends on your donations!
Please make sure that anything you bring is in good condition. They do not accept electrical items like televisions etc.
Do not leave items outside the shops if they are closed – in the past some unscrupulous merchants have helped themselves to donations which were left on the footpath outside business hours.
Open: - Monday – Saturday 10am to 5.30pm.