The Salvation Army op shop in Tempe (known as Salvos St Peters) has been a community fixture for decades. The site is more than 100 years old and was established in 1906 as a pig farm and recycling plant for the Salvation Army. It wasn’t until after World War Two that it became an op shop, answering the needs of returned soldiers for affordable items to help rebuild their lives. Cut to today and the store’s customer base has expanded to include a much broader community – young and old.

About five years ago, the Salvos managerial team started talking about a renovation to keep up with the foot traffic coming through the store. “The store had outlived what it was,” says manager Jeff McCartney. “The idea to restore the site was really driven by the growth of op shops. There tend to be more people that are op-shop savvy than there used to be.”

Recently Newtown received its own store bending the op-shop model, vintage boutique King of the Jungle, selling buy/sell/trade collectables from around the world.

In May, the new Salvos St Peters was unveiled to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and several extras one wouldn’t usually expect from an op-shop experience. The store’s new “boutique” section has been merchandised more like a proper store. Plastic hangers have been replaced with wooden ones, too.

There’s an additional 200 square metres of space, more change rooms, more checkouts and a “fairer queuing system”, too . More space translates into more stock to browse through.

"The St Peters boutique is filled with gorgeous fashion finds - many new with tags, never-been worn and high-quality designer donations," says eco-stylist and Salvos ambassador Faye De Lanty. "There are great dresses, cute clutches, stylish shoes and timeless classics like denim and trench coats. It’s not uncommon at times to find labels like Chloe, Christian Louboutin and Burberry so it’s definitely worth visiting regularly, as new items are added in all the time."

“This particular location has changed a lot over the years,” says McCartney. “We used to be just a Salvos store on a vacant block of land and now we have a lot more neighbours, and we’ve also seen a lot more donations coming through. We live in a generous society where the gift of giving tends to be growing, and when you make something bigger, more stuff turns up.”

Salvos St Peters
7 Bellevue Street, Tempe

Mon to Fri 9am–5.30pm
Sat 8.30am–3.30pm