Adelante Development Center had been looking for a new space to relocate Bargain Square before the pandemic hit New Mexico.

The lease was expiring at the former Los Lunas location, so the nonprofit organization had to move to continue to provide jobs for people with disabilities in Valencia County.

After searching multiple options, Adelante purchased the former Sears retail site just north of Belen between Los Lunas and Belen on N.M. 314.

In April, Adelante moved from the old store in Los Lunas and began improvements at the new location to offer an enhanced shopping experience.

Bargain Square will reopen its new location on Wednesday, July 8. Store hours will initially be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, for both shopping and donations.

Due to the pandemic, there will be no grand-opening ceremony, but to encourage shoppers, the first 100 customers through the door will be given coupons for their support.

As per the governor’s health orders in effect, the store will be limiting the number of shoppers at any one time.

Shoppers and employees will be required to wear masks and also must use social distancing and stay 6 feet apart or more from other people.

The health order also means Adelante is not certain when all employees can return to work. Daytime vocational training sites for people with disabilities, such as Bargain Square, are among the programs currently closed by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The return of employees is also dependent on how quickly customers and donors return to the store.

To remain open, the thrift store will need community support in the form of both donors and shoppers. To arrange large-item pickup, the public should call 923-4250. Donations of smaller items should be brought to the site, to the back of the new store.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.