"We're really glad, really happy, to be in Amherst," said Steven Mundahl, president of Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley.
"We think we're perfect for UMass
and the other colleges in the area, because our prices are even lower than discount retailers.
The space at 183 University Drive, which was built for a Hollywood Video that opened in 2005 and has been vacant for two years, is being renovated to accommodate the Goodwill
had been looking to expand into Amherst for a long time, but was waiting for a suitable site.
The 6,000-square-feet location, in the same complex as Big Y Supermarket, is only slightly smaller than the thrift store that opened in March 2009 at 971 Bridge Road in Northampton, and offers a similarly bright, clean retail space, Mundahl
was absent from Northampton for eight years, shoppers have discovered it over the last year.
"We've done exceptionally well in Northampton," Mundahl
hopes the same success can be found in Amherst, where the Goodwill store will fit the community's ethos of reusing and recycling.
About 70 percent of the products for sale will be lightly used clothes, with the rest of the merchandise including household items, such as lamps, dishes, small appliances and furniture, camping equipment and bicycles, as well as books and record albums.
While a Salvation Army store is located nearby on Route 9 in Hadley, Mundahl
said there will be a friendly competition between the two and that both are important local nonprofits.
Proceeds from the Goodwill store, like the other eight in the area, benefit Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley
, which this year is celebrating 85 years of assisting people with disabilities and other disadvantages with job training and finding and maintaining work.
The other stores currently generate $3 million in sales, with 95 cents of every $1 going toward rehabilitation services, Mundahl