SALT LAKE CITY — More than two months after closing to the public, Deseret Industries thrift stores will begin reopening this week with reduced hours and donations by appointment.

The nonprofit work training business, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opened 17 of its 44 stores June 2, including all four locations in Arizona (Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Tucson); Burley and Pocatello, Idaho; both stores in Las Vegas; Portland, Oregon; and eight in Utah — Brigham City, Cedar City, Logan, Price, Richfield, St. George, Tooele and Vernal, a church statement said.

The other 27 stores are scheduled to open in the coming days, according to deseretindustries.org. The rest of Utah’s locations will be reopened by Monday, June 9.

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In general, most stores will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., although stores will have reduced hours to allow for restocking and sanitization. Each store will adhere to local government safety guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Brent Palmer, Deseret Industries manger of operations, said he expects an influx of donations as the stores reopen.

“We are so grateful for everyone who has waited to donate, and we want to accept as many donations as possible,” Palmer said in a church statement. “Donated items allow us to help the associates in our job-training program.”

The Provo Deseret Industries thrift store. | Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

Those who wish to donate should follow these guidelines:

  • Stores will accept donations by appointment only. Visit deseretindustries.org/reopen to schedule a time.
  • Donations of mattresses and box springs are no longer accepted. See a full list of prohibited items at deseretindustries.org/donate.
  • Deseret Industries will quarantine donations. This will limit the number of items that can be accepted during the initial reopening period.
  • Donation drop-off operations may close early because of increased demand and the time required to quarantine each donation.
  • Donors are asked to wait in their vehicle until it is their turn to donate. Once they have reached the drop-off area, donors can remove items from their car and place them in the designated bins or carts.
  • Donors are encouraged to wear masks.

In-store safety measures include:

  • The number of people in each store will be limited to allow for proper social distancing.
  • All associates and staff will wear gloves and masks. Shoppers are encouraged to wear masks.
  • Carts will be sanitized between customers.
  • Stores will be cleaned more frequently.
  • Signage and floor stickers will help customers and staff follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Fitting rooms, restrooms and drinking fountains will be temporarily closed.
  • The sales floor will be restocked only while the store is closed.
  • Customers should avoid sitting on furniture or loitering.

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic led all Deseret Industries thrift stores to close to the public on March 17, although they remained open to serve some individual needs.

Since then some of Utah’s locations participated in ProjectProtect, the service effort to sew 5 million medical-grade masks to health care workers.

“We’re looking forward to reopening our stores so we can better serve our communities,” Palmer said. “We have missed seeing our stores filled with shoppers and donors, and we’ve missed being able to work side by side with our associates.”