Goodwill of the Heartland will open its new flagship store on Jan. 24 in the former Office Depot store, 445 Highway 6 East in Iowa City.
The 29,000-square-foot store will feature new branding while selling used clothing and furniture and a large book area. Eventually, the organization also plans to move the Goodwill Reboot Store and Shopgoodwill.com under the same roof.
The Goodwill Reboot Store refurbishes, sells and recycles donated computers, printers and accessories. Shopgoodwill.com is the e-commerce division of the organization’s retail operation.
In 2013, Goodwill of the Heartland sold nearly 25,000 items online.
Jason Toms, Goodwill vice president of retail, said the new flagship store will be about twice the size of the existing Goodwill location at 985 Highway 6 East. The store will be the first to embrace the organization’s new “Look What I Found” branding campaign.
The campaign includes interactive messaging and mediums to engage with shoppers and donors. It also is a way to better educate the community about the Goodwill mission to help people overcome barriers to independence.
Goodwill uses donated goods and retail sales to create jobs. Goodwill clients are able to learn how to work in a retail setting, which helps them make the transition to independence.
In addition to more sales space, the new Iowa City store will have an area dedicated to inspiring customers to recycle and repurpose using the merchandise they can purchase at Goodwill.
As funding allows, Goodwill of the Heartland hopes to house a Helms Career Center within the new retail space.
The Helms Career Center offers visitors assistance with career exploration; accessing community resources; computer skill development; using online tools; interviewing; and completing resumes, cover letters and job applications. The organization opened its first career center in Moline, Ill., in August 2013.
The new Goodwill flagship store will be located near the Salvation Army Thrift Store and the recently remodeled Waterfront Drive Hy-Vee. Toms is optimistic that the synergy with the nearby stores and everything that the new store has to offer will bring higher traffic and increased retail sales, which will support Goodwill’s mission.