WINCHESTER — Patrons were lined up and ready to shop Friday as Goodwill opened business at its new location on Valley Avenue.
Goodwill officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2592 Valley Ave. on Friday morning as customers perused and bought items inside the store.
“It’s very exciting,” said store manager Kathy Noone, who’s been with the company for 13 years. “We’ve waited a long time, and we’re all very, very excited. We’re hoping to gain a lot more customers and thankful for the old ones who will always be there.”
The store moved from its previous location at 443 Millwood Ave., which closed Tuesday.
The new location offers a larger parking space and a more efficient shopping space, Goodwill officials said.
“With any retail, you want to have as ready access as possible so folks can find you and park,” said David Shuster, executive director and CEO with Goodwill. “That made this a more attractive location.”
Shuster said Goodwill identified the Valley Avenue property last summer and quickly worked through negotiations, demolition and renovations.
“We’ve been working with landlords and owners here to try to repurpose some of these vacant grocery stores in our area,” he said. “No one needs 35,000 square feet of retail, so they’re working on plans to subdivide for some smaller retailers or even medical and offices in this building.”
The new location employees 25 people.
Shoppers on Friday were treated to brief refreshments and afforded the opportunity to win a 42-inch flat screen television as well as Goodwill certificates.
The new location will accept, in good/working condition, men’s, women’s, children’s and infant’s clothing and outerwear; accessories such as shoes, belts and handbags; linens and textiles that are clean and stain-free; housewares, certain electronics except televisions; arts and antiques; furniture; toys; books and computers.
Store hours run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
On top of offering retail for customers, Shuster said Goodwill also provides workforce development training for the community.
The company has a workforce office at 2 N. Cameron St. that community members can utilize.
Goodwill takes 90 cents for every dollar made and uses it to help fund that program, Shuster said.
“If you’re having a challenge getting or maintaining employment,” Shuster explained, “you can go there and we’ll sit you down with a vocational case manager who will work with you to try to figure out what might be a career you’re interested in, what skills you have and what’s out there in the community for you.”
Goodwill serves over 7,000 clients annually in a 17-county region throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.