ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Donations, connections and now an expansion — Goodwill Industries of Alaska opened a second retail store in Anchorage Thursday.
Within minutes of its 7 a.m. opening, thrifty treasure hunters packed into the new shop. "I wanna get the good stuff, see what they have and just venture around the aisles that I love, which are Halloween and Christmas," Taz Caddle said.
Vinyl, holiday decorations and clothes are only a fraction of the donated goods filling the 14,000 square foot space. "It's really well laid out, has a lot of nice things, good selections," Darlene Anderson said.
Anderson said she has a love for vintage, particularly mid-century modern finds going back to her childhood. Tom Holinbaugh, who made the first purchase of the day, an antique recipe box for less than $4, said he also grew up going to secondhand shops, "I got thrift shops in my blood; it's left over from when I used to go with my mom," he said.
The new store located at 8931 Old Seward Highway plays neighbor to the Duluth Trading Company. Both businesses occupy space formerly used by Sports Authority. "There's nothing worse than vacant retail in any community so to be able to fill that up and make it a viable business and have a full parking lot generating business for neighboring stores is huge and Goodwill has really done a good job of that here in Alaska," Steve Fishback, a Goodwill board member said.
According to the Association of Resale Professionals, second hand shops are thriving. Not only during a struggling economy, but also for several other reasons like a focus on reusing, recycling and repurposing items.
Goodwill uses 90 percent of the revenue made through its retail stores to fund its "jobs connection" programs, "To help people find jobs, and support job interface with individuals that either have barriers to employment or people just like you [and I] that could have a job but just need some help with a resume or need some connections with what job opportunities may be available,"Fishback said.