Goodwill business booming despite slow economy

DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - While most stores are suffering from the economic crisis, there is one place where business is booming: a store that can even save you money.

Most people think of their local Goodwill as a place to drop off donations. But with the economic crisis, it's now the place to shop.

Goodwill Industries says it is actually adding to the economy by expanding its current operations in north Mississippi.

"During this economic downturn, we're also extending our mission, which is helping create jobs, job training, and job placement within our community," director of operations Keith Chapman said.

In addition to two stores in Southaven, the company is adding two new locations, along with 25 new jobs. The two new locations will be a store in Hernando and a donation site in Horn Lake.

"We actually just participated in one of the major job fairs here and had hundreds of applicants. Ever since we posted for the jobs we were hiring for in Hernando, were averaging 50-60 applications a day," Chapman said.

For shoppers like Pat Gunter, it is not only about the savings, but the quality as well.

"You can get brand name things with the tags still on them that nobody has ever used or worn, so it's a good place to shop," Gunter said.

From purses to hats, jeans, electronics, and furniture, Gunter said it is one stop shopping for anyone on a budget. Sherry Sappington is a Goodwill regular and is not afraid to say so.
"Well, one reason is because of the economy. It's a better place to go get the better prices," Sappington said. "Anybody who doesn't shop in a place like this, a store like this is nuts."

Chapman said that Goodwill plans to expand even further in the next few months. Soon there will be stores in Horn Lake, Oxford, Tupelo, and Tunica.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.