Goodwill opens flagship store in Painesville Township
When Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio opened its new Painesville Township store on Sept. 19, President and CEO Ken Weber made a bold promise.
In a news release, Weber stated, "Goodwill's new Painesville Township retail store will shatter traditional thrift shop stereotypes and challenge the community to think differently about shopping at Goodwill."
Fast forward about two months and shoppers like Toni Gianfagna of Perry Township count that as a promise kept.
"It seems like a nice store. It's very clean and well maintained and they have a good presentation of the products they have out," Gianfagna said, while she shopped at the Goodwill store at 2175 Mentor Ave. on a recent weekday afternoon.
You also can add Muriel Todd of Painesville to the list of satisfied customers.
"I really do like the store," she said. "It's well organized and it's nice that they have the sizes of clothing marked on the racks, so you don't have to search through everything to find out what each item is marked."
These are just the kind of shopper reactions that Goodwill had hoped for after opening the 1,100-square-foot location, which the organization describes as a flagship store and model for its thrift shops of the future.
"Goodwill really wanted to adopt a more contemporary shopper-friendly retail experience," said Crista Adamczyk, manager of social media and marketing for Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio.
To create what Adamczyk described as a "wonderful environment" for shoppers, the Painesville Township Goodwill boasts a large parking lot, a spacious and well-lit interior with prominent displays and signs to direct shoppers, along with a cash-register checkout station and dressing rooms similar to what you'd find in other nationally known retail stores.
"We want people to feel comfortable shopping in our stores and be excited to visit Goodwill," Adamczyk said. "We also want to communicate to the public that shopping at Goodwill is for everyone, not just for people looking for a good deal or bargain. While we have excellent prices at Goodwill, it's truly for everyone, not just the passionate thrift store shopper."
By designing Goodwill stores to provide a more upscale shopping experience, the organization is looking "to attract that shopper who may visit other retail stores like Old Navy or Target or even the mall," Adamczyk said.
Goodwill's Painesville Township store is stocked with donated clothing, toys and games, books, furniture and other household items. Proceeds from the sale of all merchandise supports Goodwill Industries' mission of improving the quality of life and employment opportunities for all people.
"Something that is unique to Goodwill is that you'll often see mission taking place in our stores," Adamczyk said. "So while you're shopping in our stores you may see a program specialist or a (developmental disabilities) case manager working with that population teaching them how to properly sort through clothing and put clothes on the rack or even work a cash register."
The Painesville Township Goodwill, which currently employs 17 people, marks the 20th store operated by Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio. It operates one other Goodwill thrift shop in Lake County, at 33459 Vine St. in Eastlake. Meanwhile, a Goodwill store at 6644 North Ridge Road in Madison is run by Goodwill of Northeast Ohio and Northwestern Pennsylvania.
In addition to a portion of Lake County, the service area of Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio includes Geauga, Cuyahoga, Stark, Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio, and Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia.
So far, the new Painesville Township Goodwill is off to a good start, Adamczyk said.
"We had a stupendous turnout at our grand opening that carried on through grand opening weekend and have had a steady flow of customers ever since," she said. "Goodwill is very excited to be out here not only to collaborate with area social services agencies, but to serve the Painesville Township community."
©2013 The News-Herald (Willoughby, Ohio)
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