Goodwill opens new store
Published 10:34 pm Thursday, September 24, 2015
With a few dozen eager shoppers waiting for the doors to open and cars streaming into the parking lot, officials from Goodwill Industries and the city of Suffolk cut the ribbon Thursday morning on their newest retail location.
The 15,000-square-foot Godwin Boulevard store will employ 24 people and replaces the shop that has long occupied space in the Suffolk Plaza Shopping Center on North Main Street.
Goodwill officials said they are excited to be able to expand their offerings and service in Suffolk in the new location, a building constructed for them in the space between the old Lowe’s parking lot and the northern entrance to the Food Lion shopping center parking lot.
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“A new facility gives us a lot of opportunity to design it the way you want it,” Goodwill chief executive officer Charles Layman said.
The new location will allow those donating items for sale at the thrift store to drive up and drop off those items without ever having to leave their vehicles, according to Goodwill community relations manager Danielle Cronin.
The store — the 16th in Hampton Roads and the 32nd in Goodwill Virginia’s territory — will receive and sell donated items including toys, home décor, furniture, electronics, housewares, clothing and more.
Cronin said the average Goodwill retail shop receives more than 1,800 new items every day. Donations received at the Godwin Boulevard location will be processed, sorted and sold there on a four-week cycle, she said. Those items still remaining in the store on the fourth week are marked down to half price, and those that remain unsold after that week are sent to one of two Goodwill Outlet stores.
Goodwill leases the store on Godwin and another in Harbourview. The nonprofit company also owns a smaller Suffolk location on Bridge Road that primarily accepts and sells books, CDs, movies and other media.
“We work to find, first of all, locations that work,” Layman said following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Suffolk, he added, is an area where company officials expect a lot of growth. “We think we are going to serve a lot more people.”
Goodwill stores fund the company’s mission to provide job-skills training and career development for those who face obstacles to employment. The stores provide on-the-job training and even permanent job placement for Goodwill’s clients.
The new location has been under construction for about four months, Cronin said. It features environmentally friendly features, including LED lighting that adjusts itself to account for the amount of light coming through the skylights at any given time.
“We’re so happy that you chose Suffolk, and being on this side of town,” Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett said before helping to cut the ribbon and let the waiting shoppers inside. “Now, go spend some money!”