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Goodwill moving two stores this fall

Goodwill Industries of Western New York continues revamping its shopper experience with the relocation of two stores this fall.

The first opens at 3637 Union Road in Cheektowaga Thursday. The 13,120-square-foot store and donation center anchors Acquest Development’s newly refurbished Union Road Plaza, which will soon be home to fast-food chain Sonic. That location replaces a former store further down Union Road in the Airport Plaza which closed Sept. 5.

The second location will open Oct. 15 in North Buffalo. Its store at 2655 Delaware Ave. will move to the Delaware Place Plaza, 2625 Delaware Ave.

Non-profit thrift stores have found themselves in an increasingly competitive retail landscape. Stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and AMVETS have always competed amongst themselves for the same pool of donated goods. But they face new challenges as more for-profit clothing and home goods re-sellers enter the market. Consumers have more options for donating used goods at such places as Savers, an international, for-profit chain of thrift stores based in Seattle. Savers entered the local market in 2011 and now has two locations in Western New York. Consignment shops and re-sale stores, where consumers can sell their used goods instead of donating them, have also grown in popularity.

Goodwill is in competition for retail customers, too. Its sales numbers have flattened, giving the charity less revenue to fulfill its mission of training and placing disabled workers. In response, Goodwill recently embarked on an 11-store overhaul. The newly designed stores are more colorful, have a more user-friendly layout, and a more appealing donation process that lets customers bring donations directly to stores rather than traveling to a central headquarters or drop-off truck.

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