Make us your home page

Goodwill Suncoast slashes prices for new prom dresses

Goodwill Suncoast has gathered 300 new prom dresses — originally priced at $150 to $1,000 — to sell for a song.

"We'll sell them for $35 to $200 in hopes the poor economy won't keep girls from going to their prom this spring," said Michael Ann Harvey, vice president of marketing for the St. Petersburg-based nonprofit that recycles secondhand goods.

These, however, are new dresses donated by local boutiques in a collection anchored by inventory acquired from a defunct Ocala prom-wear shop.

Goodwill will sell the collection in two evening events. The first is 6 p.m. March 5 at 4102 W Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa. The second is 6 p.m. March 6 at 3365 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.

In a related sign of the times, SteinMart, the Jacksonville-based off-price apparel chain, is staging a Give and Receive benefit for the Salvation Army Thrift and Family Stores from March 5 to 7. Customers get a 20 percent discount for every clean, gently used garment brought in as a donation.

• • •

Ritz Camera, a Beltsville, Md., chain that also owns Boater's World, on Monday joined the ranks of retailers in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company owns nine stores in the Tampa Bay area that operate under the Ritz or Wolf Camera flag, plus six Boater's World stores.

Claiming assets and liabilities of less than $500 million, the company blamed the switch to digital photography, gas prices and an economy that, among other things, reduced boaters' time on the water.

Ritz said suppliers prodded the company to bolster its reserves, which cut credit lines available for inventory.

• • •

Relentless layoffs rocketed job security to the top concern among consumers in January (46 percent, up from 15 percent in October), surging far ahead of rising prices, financial markets and home values.

But consumer sentiment surveys by comScore, a firm that tracks online consumer behavior, demonstrates that averages can mislead and layoffs vary by income.

Only 5 percent of those earning $100,000 or more and 11 percent of those who had been earning $50,000 to $100,000 said they had already lost their job. But 23 percent of those earning $50,000 or less said they had.

That does not square with the nation's unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, which reflects only people actively looking for work.

If it's any consolation, twice as many of those earning more than $100,000 (20 percent) are "extremely concerned" they are about to lose their job.

How do people relieve stress while hand-wringing over the state of the economy? Most (52 percent) browse the Internet, while 50 percent watch TV.

• • •

Trying to reverse its shrinking shelf space in grocery stores, the American Egg Board is fighting back. It unleashed a white paper showing its products earn some of the highest profit margins in supermarkets (up to 40 percent for fresh eggs) while trying to erase a perception that fewer people eat eggs.

In fact, the nation has 278 million laying hens, almost equal to the human population. The average hen produces 259 eggs a year while the average American consumes 254. That's the most consumption per person since 1985. But it's below the 402 eggs swallowed in 1945.

Mark Albright can be reached at or (727) 893-8252.

Goodwill Suncoast slashes prices for new prom dresses 02/23/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 23, 2009 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data


    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  2. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  3. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board


    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  4. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent


    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  5. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower


    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]