Iconic Goodwill gets serious with national online store for thrifty

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NEW YORK — The rogues flocking to Goodwill stores will now also be able to do serious online scavenger hunts.

The Goodwill Industries International Inc., the 120-year-old nonprofit organization that operates 3,300 stores in the United States and Canada, has launched an online business as part of a new venture called GoodwillFinds. Until now, Goodwill had no centralized online business, with each store selling some of its gifts online through third-party websites such as eBay and Amazon.

The company will help fund its community programs across the United States providing job training, job placement and mentorship for youth. It should also increase donations, while helping to expand its customer base.

Goodwillfinds launched on Tuesday with around 100,000 items available online, with more to be added, said Matthew Kaness, CEO of Goodwill Finds. Goodwillfinds.com offers search tools that allow shoppers to browse by category and optionally customize the site based on the customer’s past purchases. Unlike rivals like Thredup and Poshmark, customers can’t use the site to make donations and will still need to visit a local Goodwill store to drop them off.

The move comes as the second-hand clothing sector is expected to grow 16 times faster than the broader retail clothing sector by 2026, according to a report by research firm GlobalData for Thredup. It also comes at a time when soaring inflation is pushing shoppers to be more frugal.

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“Our new social enterprise makes it easier for the conscious consumer to shop online in a sustainable way, while enhancing the savings experience they love at Goodwill,” Kaness said.

In 2021, retail revenue from donations to Goodwill was more than $5.4 billion, the organization said.

The vision for GoodwillFinds came from a consortium of Goodwill members across the country, including Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington, who wanted to harness the full potential of the organization.

Daryl Campbell, CEO of Northwest Washington’s Evergreen Goodwill, said he expects revenue for his consortium of 24 stores in his region to double from $24 million last year. over the next five years due to the centralized online approach. He also predicts that he will be able to double his online business to 32% of his consortium’s sales in the next few years.

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