Goodwill to hold grand opening in Fairfield on Friday
FAIRFIELD — For weeks, Bridgeport resident Tony Bermudez has traveled past Kings Plaza on his way to neighboring businesses, each time passing by a relatively new sign for a Goodwill store.
Like other shoppers, curiosity and a love for great deals finally drew him into the store, where he found racks and shelves filled with donated, recycled and reused items at Fairfield’s first Goodwill store and donation station.
“This is my kind of zone, especially if you can get a pair of pants for five bucks,” he said. “I mean how can you beat that, especially in 2017?”
The store has been open since September while construction was finishing up. Now completed, Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut will be celebrating its latest 12,000-square-foot storefront with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening deals Friday morning.
“This the 22nd store we’ve opened and we’re happy to have one in Fairfield,” said Vicki Volpano, president of Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut. “It’s complete now, and we’re happy to celebrate that.”
The facility features approximately 7,500 square feet of retail space with the rest devoted to a drive-through donation station and canopy on the side of the building that allows people to unload donations with the help of staff members.
The donation station is open seven days a week for about 13 hours a day.
“The more convenient we can make that donation process and the more convenient the access is to that, we found that that helps encourage donations of household goods and clothing,” Volpano said.
The store offers another option for shoppers and donors who would normally head to either the Westport or Bridgeport locations.
While the store has not been advertising since its opening, there have been plenty of shoppers owing in part to its close proximity to Interstate 95 at 500 Kings Highway E.
According to Volpano, the store has averaged nearly 200 daily customers since opening in the fall.
“We are so grateful,” Volpano said. “We have a mission to fund and a mission to fulfill, so every time someone stops by and shops in the store and certainly those who stop by and share their donations with us, we’re grateful for that support.”
The store employs about 30 people.
First Selectman Mike Tetreau is expected at the ribbon cutting along with Beverly Balaz, president of Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, who said she was glad to see Fairfield joining the list of Goodwill storefront locations.
“It’s twofold,” Balaz said. “It’s an opportunity to give and it’s an opportunity for people to shop, then Goodwill’s greater mission of helping those people with disabilities and other disadvantages reap the rewards of that.”
The ribbon-cutting event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 9 a.m., and the grand opening ceremony will start at 10:30 a.m.
The first 75 customers at the store will receive a gift card, while everyone who makes a purchase will receive a complimentary Goodwill tote bag while supplies last.