CLARKSVILLE — Bargains can be bought by the pound when the new Goodwill Outlet Store opens later this year.
The facility at 1212 Applegate Lane, which housed the former traditional Goodwill Store before it moved into a new building just opposite Applegate Lane in December, will offer a bargain-hunter's paradise.
Most items will be available for $1.29 a pound: housewares, clothing, toys, DVDs, just about anything you can pile into a bin can be bought in bulk.
"It's a great shopping experience. It's a lot of fun," said Sam Perry, director of marketing and communications for Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, noting that some items, like books and furniture, are separately priced and not available by the pound. "We rotate items constantly throughout the day. Just because something didn't get purchased at a traditional Goodwill store doesn't mean it's not a good item. It might have just been a hidden gem that no one found and they might be able to find at the outlet for an incredible price.
"You can come in and get a lot of merchandise, a lot of clothing, for just a few bucks at the outlet."
The outlet store, which is expected to open by the end of the year, will be the result of a renovation and an addition to the former traditional store, which also housed offices for Goodwill of Southern Indiana when it was an independent agency.
"We moved that store to the nearby location [1319 Applegate Lane] and expanded the existing building to suit the much larger footprint required for an outlet and warehouse," said Perry, adding that the building will measure about 100,000 square feet.
The existing building and Applegate Lane's proximity to Lewis and Clark Boulevard and Interstate 65 made it a fitting location for an outlet store, according to Perry.
"The fact that it was a very large building to start with and a fairly new building made it more feasible to convert that to an outlet space versus trying to build it brand new from the ground up somewhere else," Perry said. "But also, Clarksville is just a nice location, we've got stores in a number of nearby communities so it's a great spot, great access to the highway, things of that nature."
While the outlet store is not technically within Clarksville's boundaries — it's in an unincorporated area of Clark County — town officials are expecting to benefit from the shopping activity.
"The new outlet store will provide yet another option for retailers, specifically those looking to make purchases in volume or bulk," Kevin Baity, Clarksville town manager, stated in an email. "The building itself is a welcome addition to the retail landscape."
The Clarksville area has become a Southern Indiana Goodwill campus of sorts, with the two retail stores and the nearby Excel Center, which is the organization's high school for adults, and The Children’s Learning Center.
“Applegate Lane will be a one-of-a-kind spot in the 39 counties our Goodwill serves," Eric Schlegel, Goodwill’s vice president for retail operations, stated in a December news release. "Within just a few hundred yards, we’ll have a whole range of education services and employment opportunities.”
The outlet store will employ between 60 and 70 full- and part-time positions, according to Perry, with a focus on people who face barriers to employment, such as a disability, criminal history or limited education.
"It really is part of Goodwill's mission to try to extend an opportunity to people that may have an employment barrier," Perry said. "More than half of our employees do have a barrier along those lines. If they can use Goodwill as a springboard to something even better, moving up in the world, we're very supportive of that."
The closest outlet store to Southern Indiana will be the Greenwood location on Indianapolis's south side. The Clarksville facility will provide a cost-savings measure to Goodwill, as it will ship items that don't sell at traditional stores to the Clarksville outlet instead of the Greenwood site.
"Items that didn't sell in our southern stores like Clarksville, New Albany or Madison, for example, we no longer have to bring those up to Indianapolis to put them in an outlet," Perry said. "We're going to be able to bring them right to that Clarksville outlet, which is really going to reduce fuel costs and things like that. It just enables us to be better stewards of the things people give to us."
Which leads the narrative back to bargains by the pound — items that were on traditional store shelves will soon have a new home at a Goodwill Outlet Store near you.
"We do a six-week rotation, so if an item doesn't sell after six weeks we're going to get it out of that store and over to an outlet," Perry said. "Since we started them in Indianapolis almost 15 years ago, they've been really successful for us, and our outlet shoppers seem to love them."