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L Street Goodwill opens its doors

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A new “boutique” Goodwill store has opened its doors on L and 16th Streets, offering area shoppers a well organized, eco-friendly retail experience and deals on merchandise like books, lamps, shoes and purses.

Store manager Noelle McCrea said the L Street location is unique in that its stock is handpicked from Goodwill locations across the country. While other Goodwills accept and sell most all donations, a “boutique” Goodwill strives to feature name brands, high-quality and vintage goods.

Clothing is centrally located and sectioned into garment-specific, labeled racks, like: women’s plus size tops, long sleeve knit tops, lingerie, men’s jackets and men’s dress shirts.

The women’s section is stocked with summery skirts and sleeveless blouses in the $5 range, along with vintage Levis cut-off shorts and skirts for $20.

The “Goodwill Fashionista” racks, located on the store’s front left wall, are targeted toward younger, more trend-conscious shoppers and feature an array of knit tops and juniors-sized jeans from brands like American Eagle, DKNY, Gap and Ralph Lauren, priced in the $20 range.
Susan Finnerman, who came out to the opening in search of skirts, said she enjoys shopping at thrift stores that are well organized, noting that the Goodwill’s women’s shoe section is arranged by size, each shelf labeled with a corresponding number.

Mother of eight, Lisa Farnworth, whose youngest son tipped her off to the opening, said that she has tried to teach all of her children to appreciate the money-saving advantage of thrift stores.

Farnworth added that she’s not necessarily a “big green person,” but that recycling clothes makes sense to her.

“If I can (be eco-friendly), I will,” she said

Shopper Charlie Hamdeh, for whom “style is more important than brand name,” was pleased to find a pair of shiny, black leather loafers in a hard-to-come-by size 13, noting that elsewhere the same pair would have cost him a lot more than Goodwill’s $13 price tag.

Tony Coelho was driving by the store and decided to see what its DVD section had to offer.

Coelho said he “loves the surprises he finds in Goodwill,” and appreciates its selection of “classic movies” not always available in movie retailers like Blockbuster.

Having already found a few candles and a striped blouse, Barbara Wood was on the hunt for a Brandy glass amongst the store’s several shelves of glassware.

“Why pay 50 dollars for a glass when you can pay 50 cents,” she said.

The store’s glassware is slightly more expensive than at some other thrift stores, ranging in price from $3-$5, but the selection is sturdier and more attractive than what one might expect to find second-hand.

The shop’s book selection is vast and varied, housed on four curving, wooden shelves towards the back of the store. Hardbacks and softbacks are organized according to genres including: fiction, fantasy, women’s studies, history, cooking and self help.

Atop the bookshelves sit like-new lamps, in a variety of sizes and styles, from bulbous glass bases to sleek, muted shades, priced around $15.

According to Goodwill employee Nick Hammom, the sales team has been at work gathering stock for the 5,000-square-foot space since February. The team visually assessed every CD and DVD, checking them for scratches and misplaced discs before putting them on the sales floor.

The store’s employees gave soft goods donations the same critical treatment, discarding any items with holes, stains and even fuzz balls, Hammon said.

In addition to its supply of quality goods, McCrea said that the shop’s Midtown locale will likely made it a good source of revenue for Goodwill Industries, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide “gainful employment and job training” to under-served communities.

“Everyone knows retail is more pricey in Midtown, so we could capture a higher dollar value here,” McCrea said.

McCrea added that she was “thrilled” with the turnout for the store’s opening.

“Goodwill has a huge following. We’ve seen a lot of familiar faces today, and we hope to create a following in downtown Sacramento,” she said. 

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