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New Goodwill store in Oldsmar hopes to attract North Pinellas shoppers

OLDSMAR — A new Goodwill store tentatively set to open June 6 on Tampa Road will be more than just a thrift shop.

It will be a 25,000-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired superstore the size of a typical Barnes & Noble that will sell 80,000 new and used products.

Shoppers hungry for bargains will be able to buy clothing, furniture and household goods at a fraction of what they would cost at other retailers. The better prices can be offered, said Goodwill Industries-Suncoast spokeswoman Michael Ann Harvey, because many are closeout and discontinued items.

"Middle-class shoppers flock to the superstores, enjoying the opportunity to snag brand-name merchandise for very low prices,'' Harvey said.

The outlet at 3929 Tampa Road is one of several Tampa Bay area Goodwill superstores in Pinellas, Polk, Hillsborough and Hernando counties.

The operation in Brandon is the top-selling superstore in the eastern United States, according to Harvey.

"Successful stores are critical to Goodwill's mission, as retail revenue helps support the agency's human services,'' she said. "The agency's retail operations are also closely integrated with Goodwill's training programs for people with developmental disabilities, creating opportunities for paychecks and empowerment.''

It will be staffed by 42 employees, many of whom were hired at a job fair this month.

"I think it's good they created some jobs,'' said City Manager Bruce Haddock. "They've made a substantial investment in the store.''

He added that the city is really happy with the architecture because it blends in with the town center.

The cost of building the superstore was $3.6 million. Projected revenue for the first year is $2.5 million.

Asked why Goodwill invested in a superstore during such tough times, Harvey said the operation's "customer base has increased in this economy, rather than contracted.''

"Donations are down somewhat, but we are hopeful that the residents of North Pinellas will find it convenient to drop things off at the store's drive-through and help make a difference in people's lives,'' she said. "We are a very large nonprofit with good financial management. The superstore business model is financially sound, based on our first superstores built in 2001-02.''

Plus, she said the expansion plans were made several years ago, and the multistore project began in mid 2007, "so we were committed to it.''

Times researcher Will Gorham contributed to this report. Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

Goodwill superstore

Where: 3929 Tampa Road, Oldsmar.

Tentative opening date: June 6.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

New Goodwill store in Oldsmar hopes to attract North Pinellas shoppers 05/18/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 18, 2009 6:47pm]
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