Store Committee Role


The SSVP Council having jurisdiction and responsibility for one or more Thrift Stores forms the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Store Committee. The primary responsibility of the Committee as given by the SSVP Council Board of Directors is to set policies and goals for store operations. Success of store operations depends on good communication and adhering to the chain of command of Council, Store Committee and Store Management. The Committee does not become involved in day-to-day operation of stores.

It must be clearly stated to all employees, volunteers and members of the Society that the purpose of stores is to care for the needs of sisters and brothers in need and to operate using sound business practices. The SSVP Council, Conferences and Stores are mutually dependent! Successful stores contribute surplus funds to the Council to be used for Society approved programs.

Composition and Size of the Store Committee

Members of the Store Committee are selected based on their belief in the need for Christian Charity and knowledge of business and retail experience. It may be desirable to ask persons outside the Society to serve on the Committee if they have the necessary experience and share in the goal of service to the poor. The chairperson should have organizational skills and a strong background in the above areas. The size of the Committee will depend in part on the number of stores to be served but usually five to ten members is sufficient to make sound decisions.

Terms of Members

Length of service will vary but usually terms expire when the Council President leaves office. A plan for continuity is recommended. The new President may ask members to remain on the Committee. The important thing is to have an active Committee looking for new ideas and new approaches to problem solving. The Committee should meet regularly, maintain open communication with the Council and not grow stagnant or become complacent. New members should be sought to replace those who have left or where new vitality is needed.

Duties and Responsibilities In Conjunction With Store Director/Manager
  • Set policies and goals for Store operations

  • Develop a business plan for the stores and review at least annually

  • Prepare an annual budget in cooperation with store management and submit to the Council Board of Directors

  • Identify with management the goals for the year and incorporate into the annual budget

  • Plan with management the calendar of promotions, special events and special works such as: Summer sales, $.99 Coat sales, Bundle sales, Half-price sales, wearin' of the Green sales, Spring Clothing sales, etc.

  • Institute the use of a personnel manual for all SSVP employees

  • Ensure performance reviews are made for all employees annually

  • Set policies for free distribution to individuals, conferences or other agencies; use a referral system

  • Establish principles of honesty for all store personnel

  • Ensure monthly, quarterly and annual reports are made to the Council, Bishop, National Office of the Society and others as required

  • Institute hiring policies in accordance with the Accessible Canada Act

  • Provide a barrier-free environment for the handicapped (See the Act as above)

  • Chairperson should provide a copy of meeting agendas in advance of meetings

Store Committee vs Director/Manager

A critical item is to establish boundaries between the Store Committee and Store Director/Manager. The Store Committee sets policies and evaluates the Store Director/Manager on the execution of the policies. The Store Director/Manager manages the day-to-day operation of the stores and manages the people employed or volunteers that run the store. It is critical that the committee not interfere with the manager’s duties.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is a special works of the Society. Stores should be neat, clean and attractive and should project the Vincentian goal of service to those in need. We must continuously nurture the seeds of charity that have been planted