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Hernando thrift store's doors to close for good

BROOKSVILLE — The small Goodwill thrift store here has been living on borrowed time for nearly a year. Now, its luck has run out.

The shop at 12605 Broad St. will close on Saturday, the victim of a tight economy, an expiring lease, and the success of its new big sister store in Spring Hill.

"A small store is not competitive in a big-store environment," said Michael Ann Harvey, marketing vice president for Goodwill-Suncoast. "Goodwill services are critical to our environment that depends on our abilities to compete in the retail" sector.

The store had expected to remain open until May, but lease on the space called for an earlier closing of the doors, Harvey said, adding that the Brooksville shop was not meeting its costs.

"The community spoke up," Harvey said of the appeal from residents last year to keep the store operating longer. "But a small store can't survive on local contributions."

The Brooksville store has 13 employees, who are being offered alternative positions within the organization's retail outlets. Volunteer workers from the ARC Nature Coast also will be accommodated as can be arranged at the Spring Hill store.

Goodwill opened the superstore at 4750 Commercial Way late last year, not far from the location of a smaller Spring Hill store, which also has been closed.

The new 25,000-square-foot store has been extremely popular, Harvey noted.

"Our new store is so successful, much more popular than we thought," she said. "We're getting great feedback on the large selection of merchandise and the space."

While some had complained that the closing of the Brooksville store would hit the city's low-income residents hardest, Harvey pointed out that in a sagging economy, most of Goodwill's customers are middle-class shoppers looking for good deals.

"Everything is marked down remarkably," said Harvey. "We invite the community to come on in and take advantage of those bargains. They're bigger than ever."

Although $1-a-bag sales are planned during the store's final days, Harvey said she isn't sure the merchandise will last that long.

Beth Gray can be reached at graybethn@earthlink.net.

Hernando thrift store's doors to close for good 01/12/09 [Last modified: Monday, January 12, 2009 7:49pm]
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