Goodwill reopens nvd

Two shoppers look at items at the Goodwill store located at 2592 Valley Ave. in Winchester. That store and the store in Front Royal reopened on Wednesday. The Woodstock and Stephens City stores will reopen on June 1.

WINCHESTER — Goodwill storefronts across the region began opening back up this week, and members of the corporate office made sure to visit locations to promote safety guidelines.

Director of Retail Chris Kackley and Chief Business Officer Sharon Ahrens were in Winchester on Wednesday, where Goodwill just moved to 2592 Valley Ave. in early March.

Goodwill stores in both Winchester and Front Royal reopened to the public Wednesday while stores in Stephens City and Woodstock are scheduled to reopen June 1.

Goodwill has 17 stores in 17 counties in four different states.

“That alone is almost a full-time job, keeping up with governor’s orders in the different states,” Kackley said. “We’re taking all the requirements from the different stats and taking the safest route possible to meet those requirements across the board.”

Kackley said that includes requiring masks in all stores as well as mandating social distancing. He also said donations are quarantined for 72 hours before being put out into the store for sale. Some racks and workspaces could also be moved around at certain locations and signage will be displaced to promote safety awareness.

Kackley said, so far, customers have been following the guidelines. Those who choose not to will be asked to leave.

“It’s been overall pretty decent,” he said. “We’re going to be as polite as possible but in the end, we have to follow our policies.”

Goodwill shut down its storefronts in late March and many of its employees were placed on furlough. Ahrens said several hundred janitorial staff members, however, were kept on to make sure locations would be clean and safe to reopen.

Throughout April and much of May, Ahrens said all retail revenue from storefronts was lost. She said storefront revenue usually comes in at around $900,000 a month across the board.

E-commerce purchases were still going steady throughout the shutdown, though, she said, and those participating in the workforce development programs through Goodwill were given the option to attend online.

The Winchester store, in particular, had just moved to Valley Avenue from its location on Millwood Avenue about three weeks prior to the shutdown and was doing “great,” Kackley noted.

“The first couple weeks were amazing — the highest sales we’ve had with a new location,” he said. “For those couple of weeks, it was great. Hopefully, we get that back rolling again.”

Goodwill reopened its store in Keyser, West Virginia, on Friday and will open stores throughout West Virginia by June 8.

— Contact Matt Welch at mwelch@winchesterstar.com