SALT LAKE CITY — The Salvation Army of Salt Lake City announced Friday it will be closing local thrift stores over a five-month period in response to current economic conditions and increased cost of operations.

The changes will allow The Salvation Army to maintain and increase current social service programs for the community, which include food boxes, emergency rent and utility assistance, counseling and providing meals at low income apartment complexes.

"We thank the community for their continued support of our Thrift Stores over the years; however, the stores are no longer making enough income to be a viable service at this time," Maj. Richard Green, corps officer for The Salvation Army in Salt Lake, said in a statement.

The closures will begin with the West Valley store, located at 3460 S. 5600 West, officially closing on March 31, and the Murray store, located at 5448 S. 900 East, ceasing operations on June 30.