Good will growing for new retail outlet in Port Orchard

Based on the steady stream of people checking to see when Port Orchard’s new Goodwill store will be opening, the business will not be lacking for customers.

“It’s really encouraging,” said Cindi Forslund, vice-president of operations for Seattle Goodwill, who was at the store last week along with retail director Nicole Roberts to oversee preparations for tomorrow’s grand opening.

Store manager Phil McKowski agreed, adding that it was certainly a good sign to have people outside practically mimicking the woman begging “Open, open, open” in the Mervyn’s TV commercials from a few years back.

“Our donations have been really good, too,” Forslund said, explaining that in the few weeks they’ve had a collection station in front of the new store at Towne Square Port Orchard, the donations have been “steadily increasing every week.”

Forslund said Seattle Goodwill has been wanting to open a store in Port Orchard for a long time, and was just waiting for the right space to open up.

On Friday, employees were busy getting that space ready for the grand opening, though by the looks of the neat racks of clothing, shoes and furniture, most of the work was done.

“I think all we have left to do is the books,” Roberts said.

While most of the items are donated, the front of the store features a selection of “new” merchandise that Roberts said Goodwill has been selling for the past few years.

“We pick things that complement what we already have,” she said, explaining that the new items were also things that people would not typically buy used, such as dust pans, dish racks and socks.

Just in case the merchandise is not enough to entice people to come to the store’s opening next week, Goodwill is giving away gifts and raffling off prizes.

Tomorrow beginning at 9 a.m., the store’s first 250 customers will receive a “free gift,” then throughout the weekend shoppers can enter a free raffle drawing for a chance to win a digital camera, MP3 player, or DVD player, along with other items.

Starting Monday, Forslund said the donation station in the mall parking lot in front of the store will move behind the building, where there is a much large area for unloading. Anyone who brings a bag of quality, reusable goods to the donation center will receive a coupon good for a future visit to the store.

Roberts said every week the store will have new sales and discounts, and customers can check the Web site: for rotating deals.

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