Cutting the ribbon to open the new Goodwill store and donation center in Martinez are James Stiff (from left), CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA; Ron Cross, the chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners; Sheila Combs, the store manager; Tommy Norris, the president of the Augusta Ambassador Club; Angela Swartz, Ambassador Club member; Bennett Yort, of the Goodwill Business Advisory Council; and Gordon Renshaw of Goodwill.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Shoppers crowded to the Goodwill Emporium's grand opening last Saturday at its new location in Martinez.
Located at 4072 Washington Road, the grand opening featured Tony the Tiger, the Keebler Elf, a live remote rom radio station WKXC and hundreds of shoppers looking for second-hand goods.
Although the grand opening celebration was Saturday, the new location opened Dec. 28 and carries clothing, small appliances, household items, toys, furniture and more.
Previously in the Columbia Square Shopping Center, the new 15,000-square-foot store is 4,000 square feet larger than the old one. It also boasts a drive-through donation lane.
Goodwill also recently established a donation location at the Furys Ferry Shoppes at 370-C Furys Ferry Road.
"Visually, this is a much more attractive store with nice, wide aisles and more room to move," said Bruce Keeling, district sales manager for Goodwill. "The community is responding well to the new location. Once the word gets out, I think we're going to do really, really well here."
According to Goodwill executives, the new store already is outperforming the four other outlets in the CSRA and maintains a full-time staff of 12.
"This became our most successful store almost overnight," said Gorden Renshaw, director of community relations for Goodwill Industries. "In terms of volume, it's doing even better than our Peach Orchard store, which is a $1 million a year store."
In the past five years, Goodwill has brokered the employment of more than 2,800 individuals in the CSRA and created more than $50 million in new payroll purchasing capital for the community.
Goodwill Industries is a nonprofit organization that accepts donated goods from the public and then resells them in one of their retail outlets. Their mission is to use the retail outlets to train potential workers with marketable job skills. Renshaw said that 90 cents of every dollar earned at Goodwill goes into their mission of helping people find jobs.
"The opportunity for us to train and get people excited about making a living for themselves is tremendous here," he said. "That's our mission. That's why stores like this exist."
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