Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
HARRISVILLE — Deseret Industries is leaving Ogden after more than six decades for a new location in Harrisville.
The Deseret Industries at 2048 Washington Blvd., which opened in the 1940s, will have its final day of operation on Sept. 19.
The new Deseret Industries, part of the Harrisville Welfare Center, will have its grand opening Sept. 24 and 25.
The welfare center will be similar to new centers in Layton and Logan, which are also both anchored by a Deseret Industries store.
The new Harrisville store at 435 N. Wall Ave. is being stocked and furnished and will be dedicated at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 by a member of the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to Paul Spackman, president of the church's Syracuse Stake and agent stake president of the area's Deseret Industries.
"It's gorgeous," Spackman said of the new facility during an advance tour. It, like all new Deseret Industries, resembles more of a regular retail store than a thrift outlet. "It's not embarrassing to go to the D.I. (now)," he said.
While it won't be in downtown Ogden, he said he believes the new store will still be accessible to the community.
"We might serve some different clientele, but we will have the same clientele base," Spackman said, noting that the new store will be slightly smaller than the old Ogden location.
With a tight economy, he said, Deseret Industries stores are busier than ever, though they could use more public and corporate donations to meet that higher need.
Although most may see the store as offering inexpensive or mostly used merchandise, he said it has another great purpose. It will employ 110 people and transform lives by offering basic job-skill training to those in need.
"It's a training-for-life program," he said.
Mariann Dillman, 37, from Eden, is one of the employees who is helping open the new store. She said she had no self-esteem when she started working at the Ogden Deseret Industries seven months ago. "I blossomed here and went to school," she said.
Dillman, who has a learning disability, said special-needs people can prosper working at a Deseret Industries. Her proof is her high self-esteem now and that she is nearing a nursing certification.
Spackman said the Ogden Deseret Industries still has its own separate clothes and merchandise. When it closes its doors, some of its leftovers will bolster the Harrisville store, but most may end up in the LDS Church's humanitarian-services program throughout the world.
The Ogden property will be retained by the church real estate arm, and its fate is unclear.
The new Harrisville store will feature an express drop-off lane system for donations. It also will continue to serve its usual community partnerships, such as the one with the Red Cross.
The store's hours will be Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and closed on Sunday.
Besides Deseret Industries, the Harrisville Welfare Center will have an LDS Distribution Center, humanitarian room and LDS social-services office.
Another long-time Deseret Industries building, this one in Sugar House, could also be moving.
According to minutes from the Aug. 5 Sugar House Community Council meeting, the LDS Church is considering closing the Deseret Industries at 2234 Highland Drive and could move it a couple of blocks west to a former Circuit City store site, now vacant, near 2100 South and 700 East.
The church wants its store to remain in Sugar House, but plans are not finalized yet.
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