Marion will soon have a Goodwill Industries store at the long-vacant Movie Gallery building on the five lane.
On Thursday, Pam Anglin, vice president of marketing and communications, announced Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina signed a lease this week to open a retail store at 555 N. Main St. in Marion. “We project to open by the end of 2019,” she said to The McDowell News.
Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina is a non-profit organization that operates 18 training centers, 40 retail stores and three outlet stores in its 31-county territory. Donations of goods from individuals and businesses are sold in Goodwill’s stores to fund employment and training programs that help thousands of people find jobs and reach financial stability. Donated items include toys, clothing, home decor, furniture, electronics, computers, shoes, linens, kitchen items and much more. These items are offered at bargain prices in Goodwill's retail stores, according to its Facebook page.
Anglin said Goodwill has worked on getting a store into Marion for some time now.
“We have been asked by folks in Marion for a long time to open a store there,” she said to The McDowell News. “Studies have shown that when a Goodwill opens, retailers in general do better. It attracts people to that location.”
The process of converting the old Movie Gallery into a Goodwill store will be underway shortly.
“People should start seeing that pretty soon,” said Anglin. “We have been in the process for a long time.”
A Goodwill store usually has around 12 to 20 employees but that depends on the size of the building. Anglin said jobs at the new retail store will be posted at www.goodwillnwnc.org.
“We are anxious and thrilled to come to Marion,” she added.
For the past several years, the Movie Gallery has stood empty at a prominent location in Marion and this has been a source of frustration for local leaders. In 2016, city officials said previously they had tried to work with the owner, Daniel Rosenbledt of Hillsborough, Calif., to find a new use for this high-profile building. There had been some interest in the old Movie Gallery but nothing had worked out, said City Manager Bob Boyette in 2016.
In recent years, folks have used the empty parking lot for yard sales.
On Friday, city of Marion officials said they are happy to hear that new and good use has been found for this location.
“The city welcomes the opportunity for this long vacant building to be occupied, particularly by a name so well known as Goodwill,” said Boyette. “We look forward to them coming to Marion.”
“It’s very good news that a Goodwill store is coming to Marion, especially in the former Movie Gallery building beside CVS,” said Mayor Steve Little. “That building has sat empty for many years, in spite of repeated encouragement from the city over the years for the owner to rent it or sell it. Having a business that will be helpful to the people of our community is a very positive improvement.”