Aerial view shows interior of the new Goodwill store in The Dalles, about 70 percent stocked for the store’s Nov. 21 opening.
After months of construction in The Dalles at the site of the former Albertson’s grocery store, Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette at 7 a.m. Thursday will open its 49th store — 9,500 square feet of curated contributions from people who in all likelihood have documented their donations for tax deduction purposes.
Dale Emanuel, spokesperson for Goodwill, says the four-day grand opening will feature giveaways of five $100 Goodwill shopping sprees and a Grand Prize of a 55-inch flat screen TV. Free coffee, too.
The store, located at 1218 W. 6th St., will employ has many as 30 people, two-thirds of whom have a barrier to employment. The store’s total area is more than 22,000 square feet.
Earlier this year, Goodwill opened a Goodwill boutique store (Goodwill on Oak), prompting some grumbles from neighboring merchants about the perceived lack of an aesthetic fit with the desired cachet of downtown Hood River retailing. All that said, the downtown store has been a popular destination for bargain hunters.
Other casual commenters noted concerns about the non-profit’s business model. A smattering of comments to the Buzzer noted that Goodwill generates healthy margins on sales of donated items priced below what retailers of new items — at for-profit stores — must charge for their purchased inventory.
Another correspondent, with a long history in the journalistic trenches, pointed us (and you) to this story in the Portland Business Journal, about the issue of Goodwill executive compensation.
The store in The Dalles is 75 miles away from the Goodwill store in Gresham.
Emanuel says that when Goodwill sells a donated item, “95 cents of every dollar provides vocational opportunities – including jobs, job training and job-placement services – to people with barriers to employment. In 2012, Goodwill’s Job Connection staff was able to find community employment for more than 10,000 Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington residents. GICW programs served more than 52,000 local individuals in 2012.”
She urged people in need of employment assistance to visit the new store’s Job Connection office or go online.