In the last 10 years, Goodwill has been transitioning from smaller stores to larger superstores with more square footage to accept, sort and sell donated items. The more money a Goodwill location makes, the more they can fund employment and training services for the underemployed and unemployed.
Since Trinity is a growing area, said Goodwill-Suncoast's marketing manager Chris Ward, it made sense to put a store there to "fill a geographic hole in our store locations."
A new Goodwill superstore is scheduled for opening in early July at the southeast corner of State Road 54 and Corporate Center Drive.
The 26,000-square-foot store will be almost double the size of the store in Port Richey on U.S. 19, and the older store will likely close shortly after the Trinity store opens, Ward said. Its 17 employees will be offered positions at the new store and 30 more employees will be hired to staff it.
The new store has been in the works since about September 2011, when research began on the site. Officials estimate it'll cost about $5 million to construct.
Goodwill Industries-Suncoast Inc.'s Trinity superstore is the eighth superstore to be opened in the Tampa Bay and Ocala areas since 2001. The store will be stocked with donated clothing, furniture and household items, as well as a variety of new products.
The store will also offer a drive-thru donation lane in which donors will be given receipts for tax-deduction purposes.
"It will make it super convenient for people to drop off their donations," Ward said. "We already have a donation trailer near the store construction site at the Mobile station to have a presence up there in anticipation of opening the store."
Most household items, including gently used clothing, shoes, home décor and furniture, are accepted for donation. Televisions and computers are not, Ward said, as technology quickly becomes obsolete and it ends up costing the Goodwill center more to recycle the items than they'd earn in profit for their programs.
Trinity is often thought of as a higher-income area and that's exactly why Goodwill is targeting it for a store, Ward said. Goodwill's target audience is middle-class shoppers.
"My business wardrobe came from Goodwill," Ward said. "I like the brand names but don't like the brand name prices."
While Goodwill is appealing to a whole range of shoppers, the middle class is a particularly coveted demographic, Ward said.
"Another reason that Trinity is attractive to us is because it's higher income," she said. "That's a good area for us to be in terms of donations. Donations drive the sales in the store. If we get great donations, we sell great things in the stores."
Proceeds from surrounding Goodwill-Suncoast stores help support services at Pasco and Hernando Career Central employment centers and mobile units. They also fund subsidized apartment buildings, work activities centers for adults with developmental disabilities, and rehabilitative community corrections facilities. To support these services, Goodwill-Suncoast operates 15 retail stores and three outlet stores.
"The superstores are to support Goodwill's human services," Ward said. "People often think of Goodwill as being the stores, but the stores are a means to an end, which is helping people get jobs."