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Inside Look: Dearborn Goodwill Store Set to Open in September

The retail store will resell donated goods while hiring people with employment challenges.

With construction progressing on schedule, Goodwill of Metro Detroit is now only two months away from , ending a decade-long drought where no business had occupied the space.

More: Follow the history of Goodwill's move into Dearborn on Patch.

Jeff Ukrainec, the Goodwill director of Donated Goods, said the community has taken notice of the soon-to-be-open resale store on Newman, which has been under construction for a few months.

“It's going well and I think it's created a lot of buzz,” he said. “People are anxious for it to open up because they see things happening here finally—for over 10 years nothing's been happening at this particular location.”

Conversation surrounding the store has been vibrant for the better part of 2012, circulating around the Dearborn City Plan Commission's that would allow Goodwill to move in to west Dearborn.

That request was following four months of debate.

Ukrainec added that Goodwill believes the business will benefit the Dearborn community, not only through the traffic it will bring in the form of shoppers, but also the job opportunities it will provide for metro Detroiters. The latter advantage, Ukrainec said, is a special facet of the social welfare mission of the Goodwill company, which aims to train and employ people considered to have employment problems.

“All the revenue from those purchases and donations support our employment and training programs to either give people the skills necessary to get a job or … create a business to create jobs,” he said.

Goodwill has invested $500,000 into the project, according to Public Relations Director Mark Lane. He added that this will be the second resale store Goodwill has opened in southeastern Michigan as part of a plan to open 20 stores in 10 years.

The first store, opened in December 2010, is located in Canton.

While its location near residences and housing initially presented extra hurdles for the store, Ukrainec said that since then, opening the store has been very straight forward.

“The city's been nothing but cooperative and great to work with, helping us along the way with anything that we need internally or any suggestions (for following) code,” he said.

The store plans to open and be fully-stocked in early September, Ukrainec said. Six management positions at the store have been filled, but 15 applications for hourly positions will be posted this week.

Next Gen July 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I am waiting to see the "upscale" features that the discount store promised Dearborn residents. At least when it opens I have a greater choice for discount retailing on Michigan Avenue. Now this store joins Dollar Store in the same strip, and then one block west Marshall's, Sweat Pea's Baby Boutique, another Dollar Store, Payless Shoes, Dots, and Rainbow. Well, actually, the discount store really is not for the residents immediately around the location to use, rather the discount store said the location was chosen because of the quality of donations that the neighborhood will provide. Sadly, with all of retailing escaping Dearborn except for a few small family businesses, I have to take my shopping to Oakland and Washtenaw Counties. Shouldn't the citizens of Dearborn expect a diversity of shopping choices in our city, versus taking our money elsewhere or bulking up on discount stores?
James July 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM
You can always stop at any of the many local bars or sushi joints instead.
Annemarie July 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM
It's about time Dearborn opened up a Goodwill store. I'm a resident here with four young children. Frankly, I'm low income and I can't afford to pay for brand new items. This will help me keep my money in the city as well as keep my travel costs, both financially and opportunistic, down. My only concern lies with the type of people this store helps teach the job skills to and how they teach them. Are they in the store? Are they helping stock the store? Are they off site? This article beats around the bush - they're most likely former convicts, straight out of prison. Not all of them are truly on the up and up. I know of another goodwill store that gives former prison residents real work/life experience, and I know they are on site but aren't allowed to have contact with the customers INSIDE the store. I think helping them is a great idea, don't get me wrong, but not hearing the details surrounding it makes my mind wander which makes me nervous.
Peder Blohm July 17, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Annemarie. Why don't you find out the real and whole story about "creating jobs" if your perception is as you write. Talk to the people at Goodwill. That will make you feel better and you will know the facts.
Annemarie July 17, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Peter - thank you for your insight. I have spoken to those at other Goodwill stores and that is the precise reason my concern arises. I have had the luxury of understanding the dynamics of what they were doing and their goals.If there were some way to contact this particular store, I would love to ask. However, because they do not open until September, that makes it a little tricky....
Annemarie July 17, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Peter. I would also like to add, if my perception is correct about what you wrote, I wasn't referring to those who need employment who are not right out of prison. I was specifically referring to those few (formerly incarcerated) that goodwill stores do help give life experience to by employing them to help in the stores.
Tamara Marie July 18, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Like Next Gen, my family and I take our shopping elsewhere. It is a shame that a goodwill store is opening in one of the most prime shopping areas in the city. I am all for supporting discount shopping to help those in need but location is key! Our city is sending the wrong signal -- that this is the best we can do and offer our residents in one of the most prime locations in the city. The bar is low...there are no high-end retailers that will want to join this strip! Oakland County here I come!
OntheMark July 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Annmarie- Good morning! I work for Goodwill here in Metro Detroit...please give me a call at: 313.557.8774 any time to discuss.
Peder Blohm July 18, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Annemarie. Contact Mark Lane at Goodwill Greater Detroit, he will give you all information.
DCHS Girl July 18, 2012 at 03:11 PM
If this is such a prime retail space, then why has it been vacant for so long, and why are half of the businesses in the vicinty closing their doors? This area has not been 'prime' since Jacobson's closed their doors. Why can't Dearborn residents face the facts and admit that the city has been rapidly declining for years?
bargain shopper September 08, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I shop at many resale shops and goodwill in canton is one of them however I am at a point where I might as well keep shopping on the clearence racks at the major stores because RESALE PRICES ARE RIDICULOUS

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