In an effort to increase donations of clothing and household goods, Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley is opening a retail and donation store in the Discovery Plaza Shopping Center on Md. 194 in Walkersville.
The store, set to open in November, is currently under construction in part of the former Bloom grocery store. The Walkersville Bloom, which closed on Feb. 15, was one of 126 closings under the Food Lion, Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food banners earlier this year.
“We looked at Walkersville as a great area for donations,” said Leigh Sauter, Goodwill’s director of marketing and development. “It’s a great location. Since it’s right off the highway, it’s very visible.”
The shopping center’s proximity to other businesses and neighborhoods will make it a convenient location for people to shop, Sauter said.
Goodwill also plans to hire 30 new employees to work in the Walkersville store, Sauter said. They are hiring for several positions at a range of salaries, she said.
“After an extensive search for the ideal location, Goodwill welcomes the opportunity to expand to Walkersville, strengthening our ability to serve the eastern communities of Frederick,” Dan Kurtenbach, president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement.
David Sclar, an optometrist who has operated Walkersville Eyecare in the Discovery Plaza Shopping Center since 1993, welcomes Goodwill.
“Goodwill provides a good service for the community,” Sclar said. “They do good things.”
Sclar said he is happy to see that at least a part of the vacant Bloom grocery store will be filled.
“Vacancies are never good for the community,” he said.
The new Goodwill will feature 13,000-square-feet of retail space. It will also include a drive-through area behind the store to drop off donations.
Donations are now being accepted in the parking lot of the shopping center, Sauter said.
Goodwill, which saw its allocation of money from the Frederick County Board of Commissioners drop 52.68 percent in fiscal 2013 from fiscal 2012, sees Walkersville has the right location to garner and sell donations.
The agency relies on donations to sell in its retail stores. In fiscal 2012, Goodwill received $10,688 from the county, according to county budget documents. That number dropped to $5,058 in current fiscal 2013.
About 85 percent of its funding each year comes from donations.
Goodwill accepts donations of gently-used clothing, furniture, household good, books, shoes and DVDs. They sell the items in their retail stores.
“The revenues generated from the sale of merchandise in Goodwill stores support the training and employment programs offered by Goodwill Industries,” Kurtenbach said.
In 2011, Goodwill of Monocacy Valley found jobs for 128 people, he said.
Goodwill operates stores in the Willowdale Shopping Center on U.S. 40, also known as the Golden Mile; 5831 Buckeystown Pike, also known as Md. 85 in Frederick; 202 E. Main St., in Thurmont; and the outlet store at 400 E. Church St., in Frederick.