Goodwill’s only Newport store location at 11 SE Second St. welcomed back shoppers on Thursday morning, July 16.
With this latest store reopening, more than 1,600 Goodwill employees are back on the payroll. Additional locations will reopen incrementally and in accordance with Oregon and Washington state and local directives. Updates are available on www.meetgoodwill.org.
Dale Emanuel, public relations manager in Portland for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette, said just the store in Newport is open for now — the donation drop-off site remains closed.
“Due to the pandemic, we just don’t have the manpower to transport, or enough staff to process the items,” Emanuel said. “While we do understand it’s not convenient for most, we are asking folks to bring their items to our Lincoln City store at this time.” People can also drop off items at the Goodwill in Corvallis. She added the closure of the donation site is not unique to Newport. “As a charity serving 24 counties in Oregon and Washington, we now have open about half of the donation drop-off locations we did prior to the March shutdown. We used to have about 90 sites, now we have 46.”
Emanuel pointed out that across the board, sales are down 15 to 20 percent. “We are not unlike most retailers,” she said. “It’s a very thoughtful, careful walk trying to keep everyone safe while providing a paycheck.”
The sale of donations through Goodwill stores provides virtually all of the funding for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette’s free job services programs, and so reopening stores is crucial to continuing with the mission of providing those services, Emanuel said. Anyone interested in learning about online job connection assistance is encouraged to email Paul Langdon at [email protected]
Given the nature of its donation-based business, Goodwill is taking extra precautions on top of safety guidelines from the state. Significant changes include:
• All stores have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. While the Newport boutique is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., other retail store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Goodwill Outlet hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shorter public hours allow for enhanced cleaning prior to opening each day.
• Outside each store, sanitation wipe stations are available. Goodwill is requiring all retail customers to wear a face covering.
• High-touch areas will be cleaned every hour, including shopping carts and baskets.
• Register areas will be cleaned following each customer transaction.
• Donated merchandise will be sanitized and quarantined before being made available to shoppers.
• To facilitate social distancing, the number of customers allowed into the store at any given time may be limited.
• Customers are urged to keep 6 feet from one another and employees.
• Floor decals have been added to the retail floor, and aisles have been expanded to make distancing easier with the additional space.
• All employees will wear masks or face guards. Plexiglas shields have been installed at each register.
• Each location will have a designated health and safety monitor to ensure all proper protocols are being consistently followed and maintained.
• At the Lincoln City store, donation attendants will be wearing gloves and face coverings and will now be able to assist you, although they can’t help you remove items them from the car. If it took two people to load the car, you might want the same two to come unload the items. Donations can be placed in bins according to donation type. To help facilitate this process, Goodwill asks, to the extent possible, that items be separated into the following categories:
Goodwill cannot accept wet items, so plan accordingly for weather when you donate.
For more information about Goodwill Boutique on Cape in Newport, call 541-264-3048. The Goodwill store and donation drop-off site in Lincoln City is located at 1000 SW Highway 101, and the phone number is 541-994-2435.