CALEDONIA TWP. — Shiawassee County’s lone Goodwill store, a fixture in the area for more than two decades, is closing this weekend because of declining sales.
“It’s unfortunate,” Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan CEO/President Joe Monger said Tuesday. “We’ve been part of the community for more than 20 years at this point. It’s been the last three or four years that the store is no longer financially viable.
“It’s really mission-based,” he said. “Our organization, what we do … is to assist individuals who have barriers to employment.”
Monger said putting funds into the Owosso site to continue operations would take money away from the nonprofit’s mission to aid people in job training and skill building.
“We’ve done a lot of things to reset that store,” he also noted. “We reached a point where we have to move on.”
Monger said having other thrift stores — including The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Volunteers of America, among others — may have contributed to reduced revenues.
“I don’t know, ” he said. “The early 2000s were solid years. Looking at the timeline, it’s somewhat of a saturated market.”
“With the store struggling, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was clear,” he said.
Monger said the store, 1427 E. M-21 in the Owosso East plaza, will close for good Sunday.
Today through Friday, merchandise will be half off. Saturday and Sunday, he said, discounts will get “more aggressive,” although what that means is still being worked out. He said information will be posted on Goodwill’s Facebook page.
While the store will close, Goodwill plans to continue accepting donations at the Owosso site in the short term.
There are nine people working at the Owosso store. Monger said they have all been offered positions either at other stores or elsewhere in the nonprofit.
“No team members were let go,” he said.
In addition, he said, the nonprofit plans to offer online services to those in need.
Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan covers a large swath of the state. Including Owosso, there are 17 stores in the region, stretching from Oscoda, to Bad Axe, and into Oakland County in Holly and Oxford. The region also includes an outlet center at its headquarters on Averill Avenue in Flint.