Make us your home page

Goodwill will trade Port Richey thrift store for Trinity superstore

I found a great pair of never-worn heels at the Goodwill Superstore in Wesley Chapel. My favorite Nine West boots, too. And the last two dresses I wore to charity auctions came from that marvelous thrift emporium, which left enough money in my purse to bid the night away, guilt-free.

The Wesley Chapel store on State Road 56, just east of Interstate 75, packs a huge selection of castoffs from the closets of the nearby affluent neighborhoods. It's a brand-name bargain-hunter's paradise.

So I was thrilled when I saw construction begin on a Goodwill Superstore in west Pasco, closer to where I live. The new store on State Road 54, between Duck Slough and Trinity boulevards, will surely draw some high-end donations, too.

Then I learned the opening of the new store in Trinity, likely in June, will mean the closing of Goodwill's longtime thrift shop in Port Richey.

In recent years, Pier 1, Buffalo Wild Wings and even Target have shuttered their Port Richey locations while keeping their doors open in Trinity. I was disappointed then but not surprised. The money isn't here.

But doesn't that make it the kind of place that really needs a good thrift store?

Census data confirms what you probably suspected about the two areas.

The median household income in Trinity is $86,593.

In Port Richey, it's $34,063.

About 2.6 percent of the people in Trinity have lived below the poverty level at some point over the past 12 months.

In Port Richey, it's more than 23 percent.

So why would Goodwill build its new thrift store in an upscale area, then close the one in the lower income area?

"That's kind of our business model," explained Jennifer Fleming Lugo, a spokeswoman for Goodwill Industries — Suncoast. "We we have a store in middle-income areas or high demographic areas, it brings us better donations. Better donations bring better sales, which means more programs we can fund."

All of which made sense as I thought about my prize finds at the upscale Wesley Chapel superstore.

At 26,000 square feet, the Trinity superstore will be more than twice the size of the Port Richey Goodwill at U.S. 19 and Jasmine Boulevard. The Trinity store will have the same setup as the Wesley Chapel location. And if it does as well, it could do a lot of good for west Pasco.

Last year, the Wesley Chapel superstore did $3.1 million in sales, compared to $925,818 at the Port Richey store. That's no surprise when you consider the Wesley Chapel store logged 31,909 batches of donations, compared to 9,198 in Port Richey.

Naturally the higher volume of goods means a greater selection for shoppers — and a greater need for people to sort the items and stock the shelves. The 17 employees at the Port Richey store will be offered jobs at the Trinity store, and another 30 positions will be added when the larger location opens, Lugo said.

At its stores, and through other programs, Goodwill provides short- and long-term employment services to people with disabilities, and is the lead provider of employment services at Career Central One-Stop center.

I'm an occasional donor to the Port Richey store, so donating to the Trinity location would mean a longer drive. "It's about 10 miles away," said Lugo, adding that the drive-through drop-off lane at the Trinity site is already accepting donations.

There are numerous other thrift stores in the Port Richey area, including the Salvation Army on Ridge Road, the HPH Thrift Shoppe on Massachusetts Avenue and plenty of church-run and other charitable outfits. Cost-conscious shoppers in Port Richey have some good options.

But Lugo is hopeful the Goodwill store's existing customers will make the trek, and that new ones from the Trinity area will find themselves perusing the racks when the superstore opens its doors this summer.

"I think there's a lot of middle-income people who could pay more but choose not to," Lugo said. "There's the same thrill of the hunt and getting a bargain."

Goodwill will trade Port Richey thrift store for Trinity superstore 03/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 8:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where cCondominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  2. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy


    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Owners to level Port Richey flea market but may rebuild

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — The owners of the recently shuttered USA Flea Market have agreed to demolish all structures on the property, leaving open the possibility of rebuilding the weekend shopping attraction, according to Pasco County officials.

    Pasco County officials shut down the USA Flea Market after it received hundreds of citations for health and code violations.
  5. Kimmins Protégé-Mentor Program a crash course on business know-how



    Williams Landscape Management Company was founded 30 years ago with one employee.

    Marisela Linares and Jorge Castro listen to speakers during a workshop at the Kimmins Contracting Corporation on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.   Kimmins Contracting Corporation is handling road construction projects Jeff Vinik's company as he remakes the Channel District. To do some outreach, the company is partnering with three minority contractors, but it's a unique partnership with Kimmins not only giving them the opportunity, but taking them through a series of workshops. It's essentially providing training to the subcontractors so they will be in position to get other contracts.