Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Goodwill hits State Street

“It’s all good.”

Or so reads the awning of the new Goodwill store at 651 State St. It opened Tuesday in the storefront previously occupied by Fuddruckers.

Goodwill is returning to State Street 10 years after growing out of its previous store on the pedestrian mall, and this time, it has a new approach to marketing on campus.


“We felt that this location actually provided an opportunity to come back to State Street and also to sell a product mix that we’ve been wanting to focus on for some time,” said Kathy Mannlein, Goodwill director of retail sales. “And that’s a product mix really geared to the young adult shopping population, more the campus demographic as well as the downtown demographic.”

According to Mannlein, who works for Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin, more fashionable and designer brand items will be chosen for the State Street location. They hope this will generate revenue to support the mission of the organization.

“What people most probably associate Goodwill with is the retail stores, but the purpose of the retail stores is to generate revenue to support our human service programs,” Mannlein said.

Goodwill runs two types of human service programs, residential and vocational. The residential programs serve adult populations ranging from the mentally ill to the financially disadvantaged. These include adult family homes and group home living, where residents receive different levels of care based on their disabilities. Goodwill also runs supportive living, where tenants pay a third of their income to live in high-quality apartments.

The vocational programs match individuals with developmental disabilities with a job coach to find them employment in their communities.

According to Maureen Roche, community relations officer for Goodwill, 86 cents of every dollar spent a Goodwill retail stores goes to support their human service programs.

University of Wisconsin freshman Kelsey Burke and her friend Jimmie Linville, 21, shopped at the new Goodwill on opening day.

“This is a pretty nice Goodwill,” Burke said. “It might be because this is the first day, but I’ve found some pretty cool stuff so far.”

She said she noticed the new store the day before it opened and came back to check it out.

“I haven’t been to Goodwill in a while,” Burke said. “And I have $4 in my bank account.”

Linville said he was also attracted to Goodwill because of the prices. Formally a UW student, Linville stopped taking classes to pursue a musical career and said he doesn’t have a lot of extra cash.

Both Linville and Burke said they think the thrift store will be popular with students.

“It’s back in,” Linville said. “Thrifting has become an art form. It’s like a whole other style of shopping.”

He said he welcomes the new store as an alternative to Ragstock, which he said always seems to carry the same type of items.

“Ragstock has been there for so long,” Linville said. “I feel like they always pick through everything. … Everything is the same.”

The State Street store is the fourth Goodwill to open in Dane County and will be the only store in the region not to have a full-scale donation center. Most Goodwill sites are prepared to take donations of clothes as well as larger items, like furniture. The State Street site will be equipped to handle only limited donations.

“We’re very happy and will be equipped to receive donations with some exclusions because of the scope and size of this location,” Mannlein said.

The store will accept clothes, shoes, accessories, books, CDs, DVDs and linens at the new store. All items collected at Goodwill donation centers are sent to a central redistribution center to be sorted and sent out to stores based on inventory.

In addition to donation centers, Goodwill also obtains inventory from area businesses and neighborhood associations. Local Boston Stores held their Goodwill Sale last weekend, giving shoppers coupons for Boston Store with every donation they brought in.

The best of these donations collected will be sent to the new State Street store.

“We do have a criteria that will speak to the current fashion trends,” Mannlein said. “There is a selection process that is implemented exclusively for this store.”

The redistribution center has specific guidelines to follow when selecting merchandise for the store, like considering label and fabric. It is then priced by employees independent of the selection process, using a structured pricing system.

Mannlein said she hopes these guidelines help the State Street store find success in generating revenue for the organization’s mission.

“We are very much a part of the community, and we are a community-based organization,” Mannlein said. “To have a presence on State Street is really synonymous with Goodwill.”

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