Goodwill to open large thrift store in Lakewood

Goodwill to open large thrift store in Lakewood
A rendering of the new Goodwill Thrift Store and Job Junction being built on St. Augustine Road in Lakewood.

The land has been cleared, construction has commenced, and if everything goes as planned, the largest thrift store in Goodwill of North Florida’s stable of retail outlets will open soon on St. Augustine Road in Lakewood.

Goodwill is in the process of building a $4.2 million, 25,000-square-foot building on property located at 5953 St. Augustine Road. The new facility is slated to open in September 2016, said Tracy Collins, a spokesperson for the nonprofit.

Included within the new building will be a large thrift store, a donation center and a Job Junction site, which offers free job training and employment placement services to anyone walking through its doors. The new facility will be staffed with 25 to 30 employees, said Goodwill of North Florida CFO David Rey.

“The location was selected because it is in an established area with high visibility where we can accept donations, operate a low-cost retail outlet and provide our free services to the community at our Job Junction,” said Rey.

A nonprofit organization with the mission to assist all individuals who face barriers to employment, Goodwill of North Florida seeks to provide help to anyone looking for a job or a way to develop a career, said Collins. The nonprofit even has an education program that provides low-income students seeking higher paying jobs with college scholarships and other assistance.

“We help anybody. Everyone can use our services,” Collins said.

The new Job Junction location will replace one currently located in the Bowden Corners Shopping Center at 5711 Bowden Road, where a Goodwill Pound Store, a “second-look” location, is also located. Pound Stores sell clothing and goods by the pound, which were not sold after remaining on the racks at Goodwill’s thrift stores for an indefinite period. Goodwill has three Pound Stores in the greater Jacksonville area.

The Lakewood donation location will join two Goodwill donation outlets on San Jose Boulevard within the San Marco-San Jose area – one in Miramar Plaza and another stand-alone drive-thru in Mandarin. In total Northeast Florida Goodwill operates 19 regular thrift stores, 17 donation locations, and one high-end Bluetique store in Jacksonville Beach. The nonprofit also offers free eye exams, runs LCI, a commercial landscaping and irrigation business, and a healthcare laundry, which processes seven million pounds of wash per year. It also has an e-commerce location online at shopgoodwill.com.

According to Goodwill’s website, the nonprofit received 667,000 donations in 2015 tallying $33 million in revenue from its retail operations. The nonprofit charity does no traditional fundraising and utilizes 89 cents of every dollar it receives from its retail outlets to support its mission, said Collins.

According to Goodwill, 89,000 people received employment services through its Job Junction locations in 2015. “This year Goodwill’s goal is to assist 95,000 people through its different services, and I think we will surpass that,” Collins said. “We’re responsible for giving 15,000 unemployed people something to do.”


By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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