When I think of the Salvation Army, I think of bargain hunting in thrift stores and trucks being summoned to homes to pick up donations of furniture, clothing and household goods to sell in the stores.

But here in Nashville, due to a confluence of challenging circumstances, both of those Salvation Army scenarios are a thing of the past.

The one remaining Salvation Army family thrift store in Nashville is closed, and the trucks have turned their attention from making donation pickups to delivering food and other items to people in need. 

Maj. Ethan Frizzell, who heads the Salvation Army operations in Middle Tennessee, said the current pressures on retail, increased lease rates and COVID-19 complications converged to cause a deficit in the Madison store’s balance sheet, and ultimately the end of the Salvation Army’s retail operation here.

April Calvin, left, Tiffany Ladd, Ulonga Lott, Adel Gisele and Angela