By Pat van den Beemt, firstname.lastname@example.org
8:17 AM EDT, May 16, 2012
The manager of the new Jacksonville Goodwill Super Store at Manor Shopping Center wants you to know that this is not your grandmother's old Goodwill store.
The new store that opened to a crowd of waiting customers on April 26 has the look and feel of a department store.
"The old Goodwill way was to pile it high and let it fly. Clothes would just be everywhere and customers had to go through the piles," said store manager Dave Bartfeld, 34. "The Jacksonville store is really a boutique Goodwill. We have plenty of space to display everything and we're very, very organized."
Rick Smith, Goodwill's sales and procurement director, was a designer for Hecht's department stores for 20 years. He helped find the Jacksonville site and get it up and running.
Bartfeld said the store adds 1,600 items of clothing every day, attracting customers to drop by the store several times a week to see what's new.
"They love the hunt," he said. "We have signs on our racks that say 'Finder's Keepers.' People are looking for that bargain item and I love to see them leave the store smiling about what they just found."
Kristy Walcutt, of Fallston, was a perfect example. She found a gold and maroon wine goblet for a friend, an orange leather purse for herself and, a brown and white fleece blanket for her dog.
"This store has good treasures," she said. "It's so inviting, it's so organized. I know I'll be back."
The 8,000-square-foot showroom has everything from clothing, jewelry and paintings, to pots and pans, dishes, books, toys and furniture.
Phoenix resident Dawn Dekozlowski joined the opening day crowd. "We just built a new home out here and look what I found," she said pointing to her cart filled with several decorative pillows, tasseled silk curtains and a small Oriental area rug. "This is going to be the neighborhood store where you run into people you know."
Bartfeld said the store has 12 employees who ring up sales, restock inventory and process items that are donated at the store's back door behind the shopping center.
The store features special sales. Those 55 or older get a 20 percent discount each Wednesday. Clothing is marked with four different colored tags, and each week one color tag will be 50 percent off. Clothing in the more expensive Boutique section will be 50 percent off on the last Saturday of each month.
The Jacksonville Goodwill store is the 25th store in the Chesapeake region. Proceeds from those stores provide job placement and skills training to thousands of Marylanders.
The store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Donations can be dropped off 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The new Goodwill Superstore is located at Manor Shopping Center, 3433 Sweet Air Road, Jacksonsville. For details, call 410-628-1562.