Goodwill of Western New York is getting ready to open an expanded site in Depew, which will double the size of the existing store. The 12,000-square-foot space at the former Kmart store at 4790 Transit Road at French Road moves the store from across the street in the Tops plaza. The new store is being developed by David Gordon, owner of Dave’s Christmas World, who purchased the 68,000-square-foot building in 2015.The former Kmart garden center on the side of the building has been torn down and will be rebuilt as a covered donation center, with a vestibule going into the store.
The store is the latest of 12 sites to be renovated and expanded and it won’t be the last.
“We’re on track to replace all our smaller stores in the next three years,” said Tom Lynch, Goodwill President & CEO. Lynch expects to move or expand one more store in 2018, then do the same with two or three sites next year. The next ones are likely to be stores where leases are due to expire in the next year in Lockport, Tonawanda and Clarence.
The model seems to be working. The last three expanded stores in Niagara Falls, Cheektowaga and North Buffalo are now the busiest stores in the network, he said.
Lynch expects to see similar results in Depew.
Revenue from thrift stores is growing. In 2017, revenue from retail sales and recycled salvage of unsellable donated items brought in $6.5 million to the agency, more than two thirds of the overall $9 million budget.
The expansion in Depew should include a doubling of employment from six to 12, he said. The store is scheduled to open in mid-July.
Credits: Tracey Drury, Reporter, Buffalo Business First