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Goodwill Industries of San Diego has leased space previously occupied by Legends Home Furnishings, at 1219 University Avenue. While not open for business, the store is accepting donations at the back door from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Renovations are well under way. Workers are putting up new drywall and turning some open space into rooms. The interior is larger than it appears from the entrance. Goodwill spokesperson Sharon Corrigan told the Reader the sales floor will comprise 3000 square feet of the 5000-square-foot building.

Corrigan expects the store will fill about 25 positions. She indicated the store will probably open sometime in the fall. An onsite donation worker said some donations arriving now are going to San Ysidro, particularly older, large TVs. Customers from Mexico like to buy those, he said.

Goodwill Industries has come under fire recently, with national news reports about underpaying its store and warehouse employees — sometimes less than a dollar per hour. Corrigan did not respond to a Reader question about average wages to be paid at the Hillcrest store.

The Goodwill store will face competition for donations and customers. A thrift store nearby is Revivals (owned by Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs), at 1644 University. It occupies another space once leased by Legends furniture. Goodwill will also compete with Baras Foundation Thrift Shop at 1455 University and Assistance League Thrift Shop at 108 University. There are also at least three nonprofit thrift shops in North Park.

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Comments

SanCarlosGuy Aug. 17, 2013 @ 11:46 a.m.

Goodwill hunting, very clever title!

Not sure if this is the type of business Hillcrest needs. However, it's an alternative to the higher priced places on University like the newly re-opened Obelisk. Revivals does a great job presenting and stocking their merchandise. Goodwill and Barras will need to really be on their toes to compete.

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dwbat Aug. 17, 2013 @ 12:07 p.m.

Maybe the recently closed Hillcrest restaurant, The Range, will become a Salvation Army thrift shop! ;-) Or a 99c Only store. Yes, our economy is sure booming again............NOT!

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Bob_Hudson Aug. 17, 2013 @ 5:31 p.m.

"Goodwill Industries has come under fire recently, with national news reports about underpaying its store and warehouse employees."

When it comes to Goodwill, there is no "its," no single entity running things - there are 165 independent Goodwill organizations in the US and what happens in one is not necessarily what happens at another region's Goodwill stores. That extends to not only pay, but also to the types of merchandise offered.

San Diego County's Goodwill has become mostly a women's and kid's clothing store with a small amount of used housewares, electronics and other consumer goods. A Reader columnist who managed a Goodwill store for several years, summed it up as, "Their goal is to become like TJ Maxx." It is not the kind of place where you will find funky old stuff or fixer-uppers. That kind of stuff goes to their online auctions or to their giant warehouse east of San Ysidro, where twice-daily auctions help clear out the junk they don't want in the retail stores. You go to Goodwill stores to buy contemporary clothing, not to buy stuff to sell on Ebay.

While some Goodwills have received valid criticism for excessive executive compensation, overall they seem to be among the more honest thrift store operators. There are competitors who are for-profit organizations who give the appearance of being non-profits, there are competitors with a long tradition of employees selling donated stuff out the back door to line their own pockets. Goodwill San Diego in recent years has invested a lot in making its stores clean and attractive and they really do seem to put a lot of emphasis on their mission of training people who might otherwise never get a job or a chance to learn basic job skills. Unlike expensive government programs, they fund the training by recycling things that might otherwise get tossed into the landfills.

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dwbat Oct. 17, 2013 @ 8:02 p.m.

RE: "San Diego County's Goodwill has become mostly a women's and kid's clothing store with a small amount of used housewares, electronics and other consumer goods." Bob, you are right. I went to the grand opening today, and that's what I saw. The place was packed with people, and customers were buying more clothes than other items. I checked prices on various items, and didn't see any bargains.

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Javajoe25 Aug. 19, 2013 @ 6:20 p.m.

I think it's way more than recycling things. These thrift stores are making more money than ever. Have you checked their prices lately? Retreads on University Ave prices certain used furniture at several hundred dollars apiece. So does Baras, also on University Ave. and the Veterans' store down at the foot of Washington Ave. I've asked the staff why the prices are so high and get the reply, "Do you know what that would sell for in a regular store?" I always reply, "Yea, but what did you pay for it?"

What other business do you know of that gets its merchandise for free? And what business gets to sell electronic merchandise with no guarantee and no return policy? I think someone ought to be checking up on some of these businesses. If they are going to operate as non-profits, than they should not be selling merchandise at retail prices. They qualify for the non-tax status because they claim they are providing a social good. If you can get it at the same price or less at Target, where's the social good?

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dwbat Oct. 17, 2013 @ 8:09 p.m.

Revivals doesn't get all of its merchandise for free. They also take items on consignment; the person bringing it in gets a percentage when it's sold. They do this mainly with jewelry, antiques and collector pieces.

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