BRADENTON, Fla. – Thursday brought the grand opening of the new Goodwill store in Bradenton on 51st Avenue East.
It will serve as Goodwill Manasota's corporate headquarters. The massive 36,000 square foot store boasts a 24 hour donation service as well as a "treasure island", where items can be showcased at the front of the store, and a job center.
It is located at 2715 51st Avenue East, just off U.S. 301 in an area of Bradenton that has become known as a retail corridor.
"You see the emphasis and focus on this neighborhood, our mission, and the things that we do. This is today's Goodwill, not yesterday's Goodwill, and we want people to understand that," says Bob Rosinsky, president of Manasota Goodwill.
"Have gone to Goodwill since I was in college. It was a store to get cheap stuff at, and over the years as I've grown up, it's grown up too. And I'm so amazed at how much it does, how much it is, and continues to be. And congratulations, Goodwill. I’m so happy for them," says shopper Catherine Ferrer.
This new store replaces the old DeSoto Junction store. Doors opened at 9am, and there was a Black Friday-like line in front before they opened.
Michelle Everts was first in line. “I've been here since 4:30 this morning. I’ve been shopping here at the goodwill ever since I was a kid. My mother used to work at the Goodwill. This is how we got our Christmas when we were little kids.”
She and others entered the store full of joy, looking for those enticing bargains.
“At a Goodwill, if you see something, you better get it right then because there's only one of a kind. That’s what makes the store good,” explained store manager Joe Beshures.
What also makes the store good is the amount of products on hangers and on the shelves—items donated from a very giving community.
“Very impressed. We knew it would be big. Didn’t know it would be this big.”
In fact, Goodwill Manasota just won the number one spot in market penetration from Goodwill Industries international. It is based on a measure of brand or category popularity, defined as the number of people who shop and donate, divided by the size of the market population.