Akron-area bargain hunters who have missed blue A Goodwill Boutique can now find it across town in Montrose
The new location, at 3900 Medina Road in Copley, opened Jan. 19 and will celebrate the move with a grand opening celebration Thursday, Feb. 10.
“The boutique in downtown Akron had a great run thanks to the gracious support of its customers, landlord, the city of Akron and Downtown Akron Partnership,” said Cheryl L. Watkins, vice president of operations and logistics for Goodwill Industries of Akron. “The agency is optimistic about growing the boutique concept further in the Copley area. This concept offers another type of shopping experience that is very different than our typical retail stores and whether shopping or donating to Goodwill, it all supports our mission of helping individuals prepare for, find and retain employment.”
Blue initially opened in 2015 in Kent before moving to its location on South Main Street in Akron, said Jennifer Bako, the director of public relations of Goodwill Industries of Akron.
Bako said a combination of downtown construction and the pandemic prompted the move from Akron to Montrose.
The final day at the Akron location was Jan. 8.
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“The lack of downtown foot traffic has been a great challenge to the boutique,” Bako said. “It held on during the construction and the effects of the pandemic, but it was not seeing foot traffic return so it must try to grow this concept in a new location for now. For example, in 2017 and 2018, blue’s annual foot traffic yielded almost 6,000 transactions annually. Its transaction level in 2021 was about 3,000.”
New Montrose location already attracting more foot traffic
The Montrose location is slightly larger than the former Akron store — “just under 4,200 feet compared to about 3,500 feet,” Bako said. Blue has three employees “and is currently hiring.”
“We remain optimistic because blue allows our Goodwill to reach a new shopper base it might not see at its retail stores,” Bako said. “We look forward to focusing our efforts on growing at the new location. Since opening, the new location has seen an increase in foot traffic and we are excited about the prospects in the Copley area.”
The boutique offers clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories “mainly for women, but there is a growing section for men,” Bako said.
“It can be described as if a personal shopper has gone through our donations and picked out some unique, high-quality items,” Bako said. “Many can be new with tags. Currently, jeans and purses are the most popular items. At this time, all jeans are $16 and most jewelry is $5.”
Out of every dollar spent at blue and other Goodwill retail stores, 89 cents goes back toward funding the nonprofit organization’s mission to help individuals prepare for, find and retain employment, Bako said
There are currently no plans to open additional blue boutiques, Bako said.
“We are focused on growing at the new location,” she said.
Donations are not taken at blue, Bako said.
“The boutique is not one of our main donation centers, which can be found at each of our 14 retail stores along with attended donation centers in West Akron and Hudson,” she said.
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In 2021, Goodwill Industries, which serves Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties, assisted11,328 individuals in the community with job search assistance, training and other services.
Hours for blue A Goodwill Boutique are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For details, call 234-200-0130 or visit https://goodwillakron.org/shop/blue-boutique online.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at [email protected]