THE chairperson of Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) says she hopes its new shop on William Street will help the charity “keep its doors open” for the foreseeable future.
The new store, which is open daily, opened in recent weeks after LAW signed a lease with the owners.
The charity had hoped to move into the premises earlier in the year but only recently agreed a lease after the previous tenant vacated the building.
Marion Fitzgibbon says the charity, which operates an animal sanctuary in Kilfinane, depends heavily on the monies it raises through its charity shops in the city.
“The stores are the life blood of the charity and we really depend on them for our day-to-day cash flow and they literally help keep the doors open” she said.
All of the monies raised through the stores is used to fund everyday expenditure such as vet fees and food for the animals it cares for.
The charity estimates it needs to raise between €45,000 and €50,000 a month in order to fund its day-to-day operations.
Separate fundraising initiatives have been organised in the past for specific projects such the development of the sanctuary in Kilfinane.
While LAW has entered into a lease agreement for the new store on William Street, it has confirmed it is to close its shop on Roches Street when the current lease expires in November.
According to Ms Fitzgibbon, trading has been difficult at the store for some time due to “poor footfall” on Roches Street.
It has been open for almost three years and will open three days a week until it closes in a number of months time.
Ms Fitzgibbon believes the new store on William Street has a number of advantages over the store on Roches Street.
“It is a much busier street and has been recently refurbished and there is a loading bay outside which should help with people who want to drop items into the store,” said Marion who added that there is also access to the premises via a yard at the rear of the building off Denmark Street.
In addition to the new shop at William Street and the premises at Roches Street, LAW also operates adjacent stores at Parnell Street near Colbert Station.
“One of them is a general bric-a-bric shop while the other sells small items of furniture,” explained Marion Fitzgibbon.
While each of the stores has a manager they depend on volunteers to stay open.