The former PetSmart building next to Home Depot in Fridley has been remodeled and is set to open as a Goodwill thrift store 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.
A preview sale 4-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, will precede the public opening of the store. As part of a fundraiser, customers pay $7 for the opportunity to shop the newly stocked Goodwill; light refreshments and a silent auction will be available.
Tickets for admission will be available on Goodwill’s website and at the door Dec. 14.
A grand opening, with visits from community leaders and the local chamber of commerce, is expected for spring 2013.
Marketing Director Lisa Ritter said the company had been considering opening a store in Fridley for some time. The distance from other stores as well as the city’s demographics made Fridley a good fit for this thrift store, Ritter said.
“Part of the process … is finding the right location that can accommodate our drive-thru,” Ritter said. “It’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together. You have to find one with good visibility, that’s easy to access and will allow people to drive through.”
Ritter said the store was meant to open earlier, but due to extenuating circumstances, opening was delayed. Though holiday-time opening was happenstance, they’re “obviously thrilled” the opening will be just before the holidays, Ritter added.
About to 90 percent of merchandise sold in Goodwill stores is donated goods, Ritter said. The store also sells commercial products, or new products, such as wrapping paper, tape and small stocking stuffers for the Christmas season, or costume accessories around Halloween.
“It’s important to know that the only reason that the thrift store Goodwill exists in this area is as a self-sustaining source of revenues for our employment training programs,” Ritter said. “The programs we offer get people on the path to work.”
The Goodwill/Easter Seals programs service people throughout the Twin Cities area. Last year, they served more than 15,000 individuals with about 31,000 services, Ritter said. One individual can get services ranging from job coaching, how to put together a resume and apply for jobs online, to specific job training.
Ritter said there’s been a lot of excitement about the new store opening, based on feedback online and in person.
Business name: Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota
Employees: About 35 part-time and full-time employees
Address: 5660 Main St. N.E., Fridley
Featured products and services: Used items, including home décor and furnishings, books, electronics, apparel, shoes and more. Proceeds support efforts to provide employment and other services for people with disabilities and other barriers.
Opening: Dec. 15, 2012
Other locations: 30 total retail stores, from Hudson, Wis., to St. Cloud, Minn. Recent new locations include Mankato and Chanhassen.
Hours of operation: Shopping hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Donation drop-off hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.