The doors didn’t open until 8:30 a.m., but shoppers eager to see Winter Garden’s new, larger Goodwill store started forming a line long before then.
Goodwill Industries of Central Florida representatives and staff, city officials, members of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce and shoppers gathered at the new store, at 14190 W. Colonial Drive, Thursday, Aug. 13, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening before the doors were opened to the new store.
Ed Durkee, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, said the store is full of merchandise.
“When everybody got sent home for a while, people started cleaning out closets,” he said.
The store is divided into sections, from shoes and clothing to books, music and housewares.
Mayor John Rees said the store was a beautiful addition to the city.
“If you bring your items, it keeps it out of the landfill, and it allows affordable shopping,” Rees said.
Goodwill closed its former location in Winter Garden in the spring and moved west to the newly built shopping plaza. The store is twice the size of the old store, with 25,000 square feet of space, and has 45 employees, more than double the previous location.
Bonnie Beverly, store manager, said she is excited to open the new store to the community.
“It’s amazing, and we’ve needed the space for so long,” she said. “People are glad to see it back in Winter Garden.”
The new Winter Garden store will incorporate the same safety precautions currently in place at Goodwill’s other locations: Plexiglas partitions at registers, one-way aisles and limited capacity.