ELKINS - Wednesday marked the grand opening of Goodwill at its new location on the Beverly Pike, to the enjoyment of dozens of eager shoppers.
More than 150 people arrived in just the first three hours to check out the new store's selection and layout.
"I would say this is one of the best turnouts I've seen at an opening event," said Katie Hart, a retail marketing manager from Goodwill. "People tend to like these events because they are able to find really great deals and merchandise. We're thrilled to see so many people coming out to shop today."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Chad Clem
Goodwill associate Wendy Russell helps customer Heather DePalma check out with her newly purchased items at Wednesday’s grand opening event.
Hart said one of the reasons for the move to the new location - in the Plantation Plaza with Hibbet Sports and The Dollar Tree - was that it has a more customer-friendly layout, allowing for more organization and easier access to merchandise.
Another major improvement, Hart said, is the fitting rooms are now larger, feature a return rack for discarded items and are handicapped- accessible.
"This new location is more typical of our newer stores," Hart said. "As well as being a better fit for customers, it's also a better fit for our company and a better fit for our employees because of the larger area to accept donations."
The customers in the store Wednesday tended to agree.
"There's something for everyone, young and old," said Kenneth Miklich of Beverly. "There's a lot of great stuff here."
"I love the new dressing rooms because they are larger and have a place to hang clothes," said Joni Cox of Elkins. "We were so excited we were lined up outside at 8 a.m. waiting to come inside."
The store offered promotions as part of their opening ceremony, including giving prizes to the first 150 customers.
There were also raffle prizes and giveaways with gift cards for locations like C. J. Maggie's, Kroger and Applebee's.
The Elkins store was not the only one in the area to receive a new look. The Buckhannon store just underwent renovations and an expansion. Pamela Geruschet, the district manager of the stores, said officials are looking to expand the district, which now has six stores, by adding a new location in Kingwood.
"It's great to be in Elkins," Geruschet said. "We have made an effort to be invested in West Virginia and we will strive to continue to be a a presence in the state for many years to come."
"We love when people come into the store to shop, but we always need donations," Hart said. "This spring, when you are cleaning up for the warmer weather, or are just thinking of making room and buying new things, think of us. We always have space and we'd love to accept what you have."
Contact Chad Clem by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.