February 25, 2009 IMLAY CITY — By mid-summer, the city's Goodwill store will become a local distribution center for Goodwill Industries.
To accommodate the store's expanded role, the charitable organization is planning to move into the old Farmer Jack store, located at the north end of the shopping plaza at 605 N. Cedar St.
The move is expected to be completed by late July, with a grand opening ceremony tentatively scheduled for early August.
Angela Thompson, Goodwill's vice president of retail operations, said the extra space will translate to greater selection and efficiency for Imlay City-area customers.
"We've run out of room at our Flint distribution center," said Thompson. "We've decided to make the Imlay City location our transportation hub for the eastern part of our territory, which includes Lapeer, Oxford and Caro."
Not only will the move to the larger facility improve efficiency, it will create an additional 4-6 job openings for local residents.
"We're looking at adding a minimum of four people — possibly more," said Thompson. "This is the first time we've done this and we believe it's going to be a win-win situation for everyone.
"The bigger building will allow us to provide a better shopping layout for our customers," said Thompson.
Because the Imlay City store will soon become a distribution center, she said the quality and availability of goods will be greater.
Thompson said a lease arrangement between Goodwill Industries and BV Associates of Southfield was signed in late January.
Between now and August, the building will undergo a major renovation to accommodate Goodwill's needs.
"The landlord is looking at transforming the building from its former purpose as a grocery store to a warehouse," said Thompson.
She noted that the expanded operation will continue to incorporate Goodwill's philosophy of providing customers with quality products at affordable prices.
"We rely on the generous donations of the communities we serve," Thompson said. "We're firm believers in supporting our local communities first. Donors can be confident they are helping out their friends and neighbors."