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. Tampa International Airport morphing into a mini-city unto itself


    TAMPA — By the end of the 2026, Joe Lopano wants Tampa International Airport to function as its own little city.

    Artist rendering of phase two of the $1 billion construction expansion of Tampa International Airport. The airport is transforming 17 acres of airport property that will include at least one hotel, retail and office space and a gas station, among other things.
[Courtesy of Tampa International Airport]
  2. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  3. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze


    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in


    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump


    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)