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Via closes shop, goes online

It was officially the last day of business for the Via consignment store in Fountain Hill Aug. 31. The store has been a part of the community for around 15 years.

Via originally opened the store to help raise money for its primary services, that help children and adults with disabilities. With more focus on e-commerce, Via is shifting to sell merchandise online instead of in a brick-and-mortar store. It is joining the ranks of other stores that have shut down and moved online.

Instead of selling Via- donated goods to raise money, now major stores will donate brand-new merchandise and Via will sell it on platforms such as eBay, Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace. Via has had an online presence for a while, so this is just expanding that presence.

Via will also focus more on traditional fundraising efforts such as grant writing and direct donations from established companies.

Habitat Restore could be an alternative for customers who used to shop Via regularly. The only way to donate to Via in the future is to drop off clothing at one of the many clothing bins located across the Lehigh Valley. Clothing is the only item accepted.

The thrift store has had a problem in the past with patrons dumping items that are not of good enough quality to resell. This has cost the store money to get rid of those items. Members of the public should be advised that dumping things such as tires, old TVs and furniture is illegal.

A private buyer has purchased the property.

Michelle Grasso, VIA vice president of development and communications, wants the public to stop dumping illegally on the site of the store.
PRESS PHOTOS BY LAKISHA BONNELL Even though there is a sign outside the store that prohibits dumping of specific materials, Via Thrift store has had a consistent problem getting rid of unusable donations.
ABOVE: Leftover merchandise in the store will be donated to other charities and nonprofits in the area.
PRESS PHOTOS BY LAKISHA BONNELL LEFT: Empty racks line the back of the Via store during the last week of business.