Sunday, February 17, 2019

How Goodwill Florida Wound Up in North Mississippi

Goody's Family Clothing #440 / Goodwill #205
2670 McIngvale Road Suite O, Hernando, MS - The Shoppes at Lee's Summit

Hi everyone! Retail Retell here. You may know me as proprietor of the Mid-South Retail Blog, or from my flickr account... but, as it happens, I'm also a contributor here at My Florida Retail. As for exactly why that's the case, since I live in Mississippi... your guess is as good as mine, lol! I suppose the simplest explanation is that, as I've long suspected, the "retail world" that I've encouraged you all to enjoy experiencing at the end of all of my blog posts is vast and interconnected, with various links between the unlikeliest of places. And indeed, the subject that I aim to profile in today's post illustrates very well, I do believe, one such instance of an unexpected retail relationship.

Now... in writing this post, I'm going to assume that my target audience here is comprised exclusively of Florida residents, and moreover that you Floridians probably aren't too familiar with my neck of the woods. In response, I'll start by saying that, yes, everything you've heard is true... but really, when it comes down to it, we're not all that different, you and I. Ideally, as I've already noted, this post will demonstrate that fact to you by showing how that large, wonderful retail world can bring us together :)

Here's one example, right off the bat: several days ago, I prewrote some of the introduction material you just read, before sitting down today to write the rest of this post. At that time, I was planning on discussing how you may not have heard of junior department store chain Goody's. Except, once I did my due diligence and completed a quick Google search some highly in-depth investigative work, I discovered that there are, in fact, no fewer than six Goody's stores in the state of Florida. So, hooray - we're already on the same page, even quicker than expected! :P  You might also be aware, then, that Goody's has a number of similar sister brands, such as Peebles and Bealls. No, not that Bealls - your Bealls isn't the same as my Bealls, as was discussed here by MFR CEO AFB, ICYMI. Regardless, though, if you've heard of those, you're likely also familiar with the parent company to all of these nameplates, Stage Stores. As far as Goody's is concerned, however, Stage only came into the picture in the very late 2000s. Prior to that time, Goody's Family Clothing was its own, independent company, founded in 1953 by Mike Goodfriend.

It was around 2005, shortly after the chain celebrated its 50th anniversary, that Goody's first began eyeing my hometown of Hernando, Mississippi, for one of its stores. At that time, Hernando's retail scene was experiencing massive growth, primarily due to the large boost in commercial real estate brought on by the construction and opening of a brand new Wal-Mart Supercenter in January of that year. Over the next several years, proposed projects around Hernando (but primarily on the east side of town, near Wal-Mart) would include restaurants like Starbucks, Backyard Burgers, KFC, Long John Silver's, Taco Bell, Steak Escape, Kyoto Steakhouse, Higher Ground, Doc's Pizza and Sub Shop, and China Buffet; pharmacy chains Walgreens and CVS; professional practices and offices such as Hernando Medical Clinic, Bob Leigh Real Estate, and Sycamore Bank; and retail outlets like Hibbett Sports, Dollar Tree, GameStop, Shoe Department, and, of course, Goody's Family Clothing.

Hernando Wal-Mart Supercenter, pictured on May 16th, 2007. Courtesy LoopNet

Hernando Backyard Burgers, pictured on March 9th, 2009. This building is now home to a Zaxby's. Image source unknown

Hernando Walgreens under construction, pictured in late February 2008. Courtesy DeSoto Times-Tribune 

Not all of those projects came to fruition. For example, CVS pulled out of negotiations for its site located - where else - across from the planned Walgreens; Arby's would later take over that land. Similarly, both Long John Silver's and Starbucks never materialized. For a brief time, the planned Goody's seemed to be in jeopardy as well: following initial reports in June 2005 announcing the $6 million project, an article dated January 2006 bore the headline "Goody's probably not to open - Clothing store deal 'fell through on its own,' spokesman says." And indeed, The Shoppes at Lee's Summit shopping complex - a so-called "shadow center" to the neighboring Wal-Mart - at first opened up in 2007 sans its planned Goody's anchor. Thankfully, however, the Goody's deal was able to pull through, and the 22,400-square-foot store was open at Lee's Summit in time for the Christmas shopping season that same year. The aerial view below, courtesy of Google Earth and dated August 7th, 2007, shows how Goody's began construction only after the rest of Lee's Summit had already been completed and opened to the public.

The Shoppes at Lee's Summit: Goody's under construction, while rest of complex is operational, pictured on August 7th, 2007. Courtesy Google Earth

Fast-forward to January 15th, 2009, and things didn't look so rosy anymore. An article published in the DeSoto Times-Tribune that day broke the following news:

Goody's, which opened in Hernando a little more than a year and a half ago, is undergoing liquidation and has plans to close. 
A Goody's store employee said the Hernando location would close when inventories of merchandise are depleted. Goody's staff was informed of the decision to close the store several days ago. Signs have been posted to that effect.

The picture attached to that article - which I've included below - is the only image of the Hernando Goody's that I know to exist.

Hernando Goody's liquidation, pictured on January 9th, 2009. Courtesy DeSoto Times-Tribune


It wasn't just Goody's. Across DeSoto County – and indeed, the nation – stores were closing in droves, with several chains going out of business entirely. In the same DTT article that provided us with that picture of the Hernando Goody’s liquidation, the author mentions that multiple restaurants in Hernando – including Love’s, Timbeaux’s, Doc’s, and Quizno’s – had also closed down, and World Market in Southaven and Super D Drugs in Horn Lake had recently announced similar fates as well. Just five days later, Circuit City announced all of its remaining stores would close. Circuit City and World Market were in the same Southaven shopping complex as Linens N’ Things, which had already shut its doors the month prior, and Sportsman’s Warehouse, which would follow suit a few months later.

Southaven Circuit City liquidation, pictured in March 2009. This building would later become home to an hhgregg, and is currently being converted into an Urban Air Adventure Park. Courtesy Memphis Business Journal

Southaven World Market liquidation, pictured in January 2009. The Linens N' Things visible in the background had already closed. The World Market building is now home to a Jo-Ann Fabrics, and the Linens N' Things building is now operating as Bed Bath & Beyond. Courtesy Memphis Daily News

You’ll recall that this time period – the winter of 2008/2009 – was right in the heart of the financial recession; with the economy in the state that it was (among other factors), paying full price for new merchandise simply wasn’t as attractive an option to buyers as it once was. If only there were a place where one could buy used goods for cheap prices instead.

But wait, Mississippi boy, you’re mildly-offensively saying, there is such a place – haven’t you ever heard of thrift stores?

Why yes, yes I have. And what’s more, I’m thinking of one thrift store in particular. Namely… Goodwill.

(Hopefully you were intentionally ignorant and didn’t read the title to this story, or else that reveal probably wasn’t as emphatic as I would’ve hoped it would be.)

I would assume that you've heard of Goodwill, but on the off-chance that you haven't, an extremely simplified version of their business model is to say that they are a thrift store that collects charitable donations and then turns around and sells those donations to the public via its retail stores. While I'm sure this next part is technically incorrect, probably the easiest way to describe their location strategy is to say that Goodwill territories are franchised, with each regionalized branch having a local management and operations team. Fundamentally, Goodwill is a nonprofit, but the profits that they do generate from their retail sales are crucially important to their mission: Goodwill's stores are just a means to an end; the organization's real initiatives are to provide jobs and help to the communities it operates in. This includes not only employing at its retail stores and donation centers people who may not be able to secure jobs elsewhere, but also running full-scale job placement centers, vocational training schools, and a variety of other social services that vary based on locality. Hence, their slogan... "Our business is changing lives."

In places like DeSoto County, not only did the economic downturn provide demand for a store like Goodwill, the surplus of vacant retail buildings provided a supply for such stores to potentially begin operating out of. Indeed, this was a prime opportunity for Goodwill: the market conditions meant plenty of people were willing to donate to and shop at their stores, while expanding their operations would help achieve their mission of creating jobs. There's just one problem... Memphis Goodwill was MIA.

As a Memphis Business Journal article dated December 22nd, 2005, reports, "Memphis Goodwill Industries, Inc.[,] founded in 1924, was struggling with financial hardship and poor management in the late 1990s," factors that almost forced the organization into bankruptcy. "But in 2001, the company formed a new partnership that has helped turn it around and set it on the path for success."

That new partnership? Why, it was with none other than Goodwill Industries Manasota, Inc., of Sarasota, Florida.

Courtesy flickr

An April 2008 feature in Sarasota Magazine profiled Rev. Don Roberts, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota:

"Our business model," he says, "is that we make it convenient for 600,000 people in the Manatee-Sarasota area to bring something and drop it off at 35 donation centers. Then we make 11 retail vocational training centers convenient to about 1.5 million shoppers to come and buy that stuff back. We took the branch-banking model and adopted it to Goodwill, because you can sell money anywhere, but unless you're on the prime corner, you're not going to get the deposits. You can't go two miles here in this community without running into a Goodwill, because it's all about convenience, convenience, convenience. We find people really don't care who they give their stuff to. They say they do, but but the person that gets in their way first, that makes it convenient and has charitable intent, they're going to donate to."

In other words, Roberts made Goodwill about more than just "that place to donate stuff." He made it visible. In so doing, people would think about donating more often, and they would also be more likely to stop in, since the locations chosen are prime spaces. This business model proved to be very successful. In the same article, Steve Baseman, a member of the national Goodwill Industries board, notes that Roberts "runs the most successful Goodwill in the world, out of 195 of them." Roberts's Goodwill Manasota is also credited with "being the first [Goodwill] to develop Donation Drive-Thrus, stand-alone bookstores, and applying [the aforementioned] branch-banking concept to donated goods (making it convenient for donors)."

On top of all that, "Roberts says the 'fun part' of his job is receiving calls such as the one from the national Goodwill organization to go to Memphis to take over a bankrupt organization and turn it around." As the Sarasota Business Observer explained in its own profile of Roberts and Goodwill Manasota, "Roberts has essentially created a performance-based tutoring service for other Goodwills. He and his staff will go into the other organizations and revamp the business model in return for a percentage of future revenues." In addition to Memphis, Goodwill Manasota in 2008 was providing consulting and/or operating services to Goodwills in Sacramento, Flagstaff, and four Canadian cities.

The consulting services part is easy enough to understand, but you'll note that I also wrote "operating services" in the previous sentence. That is to say, Goodwill Manasota has also been known to take over entire territories and operate them singlehandedly, if temporarily, as if they were their own. This is how Goodwill Manasota wound up in North Mississippi: "On July 1, 2008, it began leasing [from Goodwill Memphis] the North Mississippi territory, which runs from Tupelo to the Tennessee state line."

Screengrab from a WMC-TV report, November 2008. Courtesy WMC Action News 5

At that time, there was only "one retail store and one bookstore" to the whole of the North Mississippi territory, both of which were in Southaven. Following the cession of the territory to Goodwill Manasota, though, business expanded rapidly. As the Commercial Appeal wrote just months after the deal:

Goodwill is preparing for a flurry of activity in DeSoto County. 
Goodwill currently has two locations in Southaven - a retail store at 925 W. State Line Road, and a bookstore and donation center at 1514 Goodman Road. 
But beginning Nov. 21, it will expand its footprint in DeSoto County with a Goodwill Bargain Barn in Hernando and a donation center in Olive Branch.

Other locations quickly followed suit. A Goodwill retail store opened in the former Super D Drugstore in Horn Lake on February 12th, 2009. A standalone donation center in Horn Lake opened the following September. In May 2011, the Horn Lake retail store was converted into a Goodwill Bookstore, acting as a much larger relocation of the existing Southaven bookstore. Another bookstore opened in Memphis proper, at Park Place Centre, and yet another on McCullough Boulevard in Tupelo. The existing Stateline Road store in Southaven was remodeled in the spring of 2013. Goodwills opened in New Albany, Batesville, Oxford, Corinth, and more. Standalone donation centers popped up all over the region. While Manasota was handling the North Mississippi leases, Memphis Goodwill was focusing on expanding its West Tennessee territory with even more stores. In short, Goodwill business was booming.

Stateline Road Goodwill, Southaven, prior to remodel; pictured in February 2009. Courtesy bitter/books

Stateline Road Goodwill, Southaven, post-remodel; pictured on May 18th, 2013. Courtesy l_dawg2000

"Golden Oaks" Goodwill Bookstore, Southaven, prior to relocation; pictured in February 2009. Courtesy bitter/books

"Golden Oaks" Goodwill Bookstore interior, Southaven, prior to relocation; pictured in February 2009. Courtesy bitter/books

Horn Lake Goodwill, prior to bookstore conversion; photo date unknown. Courtesy Signs & Stuff

Horn Lake Goodwill Bookstore, post-conversion; pictured on April 15th, 2013. Courtesy On the Road with Jim and Mary

Horn Lake Goodwill Bookstore interior, pictured in April 2013. Courtesy foursquare

Most notably in regards to the subject of this post, the CA reported the following on May 13th, 2009:

Hernando adds Goodwill - Retail site in former Goody's will be second store for city 
Goody's pain has become Goodwill's gain. 
Memphis Goodwill Industries will open its second location in Hernando Thursday in the former Goody's Family Clothing location, 2670 McIngvale Road. 
Keith Chapman, director of operations for Memphis Goodwill Industries in Mississippi [Chapman actually worked for Goodwill Manasota - ed.], said the new store will be completely different from the Goodwill Bargain Barn on Commerce Street in Hernando [described in a separate DeSoto Times-Tribune article as "'an outlet-style facility...Clothes here are put in bins and sold by the pound, and other items are sold at a lot greater discount than they are offered for in our retail stores. We try to salvage here what we don't sell at the other stores. It's sort of a second-chance store.'"].

Goodwill Bargain Barn, Hernando, pictured on July 4th, 2016.

Goodwill Bargain Barn, Hernando; photo date unknown. Courtesy LoopNet

It is also worth noting that Goodwill Manasota likes their retail stores big. I've heard from some of you in the retail community that your local Goodwill stores are on the small side, about the size of, say, a Walgreens. Meanwhile, Goodwill Manasota tends to open much larger locations, a trend that continues to this day - see this 2015-opened store in a former round Kash n' Karry supermarket. The stores that Goodwill Manasota opened in the North Mississippi territory for the most part appear to mirror that tendency, as do the stores that Memphis Goodwill would go on to open in West Tennessee during this same time period. The partnership, it seemed, produced outstanding results.

All good things must come to an end, however. The arrangement with Goodwill Manasota was always meant to be temporary; Chapman, the Manasota executive who operated the North Mississippi stores, wrote in his LinkedIn profile that Manasota's job was "to develop leadership and build infrastructure for a turnover back to Goodwill Memphis [ten years later,] in 2018. We fully developed the territory in 5 years - from $1 million to over $13 million - and ended the agreement for an early turnover to Memphis in January 2015." Today, the North Mississippi stores are back in the hands of Memphis Goodwill.


The Hernando Goody's closure in January 2009 occurred at the same time as Goody's was liquidating all of its remaining stores across the country, only months after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Stage Stores, as noted, would go on to buy the Goody's intellectual property in the summer of 2009, and by 2010 was opening new stores under the Goody's name as well as rebranding existing Stage-operated stores as Goody's, capitalizing on the "select markets in which there is strong customer awareness and recognition of the name." The Hernando Goody's, unfortunately, was not one of those stores to be acquired and reopened by Stage, as you well know by now. But honestly, I think it is much cooler that the building would go on to develop such a unique history via its relationship with an operator from nearly a thousand miles away.

The remainder of this post is dedicated to interior and exterior photos of the Hernando Goody's-turned-Goodwill. Enjoy!

As you could see in the aerial view included earlier in this post, Goody's built onto the very end of The Shoppes at Lee's Summit, closest to McIngvale Road. The architecture here was made to match the rest of the shopping center - itself designed to comply with Hernando's all-brick ordinance - so I doubt anything here is architecturally specific to Goody's. That said, if any of you know of any other Goody's stores (past or present) that may bear this design, please let me know!

Moving closer to the storefront as we prepare to head inside. Previously, the Goody's logo was displayed in white lettering on the fa├žade. Unfortunately, I don't remember what that looked like. Per my friend l_dawg2000, I'm pretty confident that it was the normal, all-caps logo (as compared to, say, the evidently extremely short-lived iteration found in this bankruptcy document)... but I have no clue whether or not that was joined by "Family Clothing."

Walking indoors, here is (approximately) the view from just inside the entrance, straight back towards the rear wall. As you can see, Goodwill has this set up with the registers - four in total, one on either side of two checkstands - immediately in front of you as you enter.

Standing off to the side of the registers, we're able to get these views of the vestibule we just walked in through. The vestibule, I'm certain, remains from Goody's.

Here's an overview of the registers, signed as Customer Service, from a spot near those carts shown in the previous image. We can also get a fairly comprehensive look across much of the salesfloor from this vantage point.

The front right portion of the salesfloor is home to menswear. Most of my interior photos for this post were taken on December 20th, 2018, but a handful were taken on June 1st, 2017. Had I gotten a photo of this area on the earlier date, you would be looking at the children's clothing instead. Sometime between my two photographic visits, those two departments swapped locations. (I come here more frequently than those dates would imply, but unfortunately I can't remember when the reset took place.)

Looking from men's toward the back of the store...

...and across the width of the store as well, with the registers visible on the left.

Beyond men's are the fitting rooms, which Goodwill built out themselves (hence the slightly out-of-place look they've got to them). I assume Goody's likely had its own set of fitting rooms, but I don't know where they would have been located.

Here's a look from the fitting rooms, straight across to the left-side wall of the building. Goodwill has the floor plan set up to where there are no fewer than five actionways that cut across the width of the store like this: one at the very front and back walls of the store, as you'd expect, as well as three others throughout the middle. This way, the clothing racks can be placed in straight aisles, while the breaks between the aisles allow for easier navigation.

This circular tile pattern can be found directly adjacent to the fitting rooms (see also two photos above for another view of the same pattern). I haven't mentioned it yet, but in several of the other photos so far you should be able to see other tile patterns, as well as hints of a full-blown tile racetrack around the perimeter of the store. As you would imagine, these features are Goody's remnants. In my opinion, they also help to make this Goodwill store the classiest in DeSoto County! You can see the same tile pattern in a proper Goody's store in the photo below.

Courtesy Devin Blackwood

Approaching the back of the store now, here's a look back up towards the front, encompassing much of what we've seen already (beyond children's in the foreground, the fitting rooms are on the left, and both men's and the entry vestibule are off in the background).

This pic shows the view across to the left-side wall from the dividing line between softlines and hardlines, as it were. Be sure to note the patched areas in the carpet, near the bottom center of the image: that's about the worst-looking area of carpeting to be found throughout the entire store (which seems pretty impressive to me). Like the tile, the carpeting remains from Goody's, and as I recall - even though I stepped foot in here only once during the (admittedly short-lived) Goody's days - there used to be wall-divider things in various spots around the salesfloor, to allow for extra space to display or hang merchandise, and just generally spruce up the interior atmosphere and layout. The best way I can describe them is that they were similar to the wall dividers seen in this photo from the Southaven Gordmans*.

(* - Speaking of Gordmans, by the way... it just so happens that Stage Stores, which bought Goody's out of bankruptcy, did the same for Gordmans, rescuing the formerly-independent chain's intellectual property, along with half of its locations, from Chapter 11 in 2017. Since that time, Stage has gone on to reinvent Gordmans, unlike its other brands, as an off-price chain, a format that is doing very well in the market today and indeed seems to be proving fairly successful for Stage... so much so, in fact, that now Stage is actively planning to convert dozens, if not hundreds, of its existing junior department stores into off-price Gordmans stores. And, due to market overlap in the primary trade area for the Gordmans brand, it seems that Goody's stores are the ones being most affected/targeted by this effort. This, after many Stage-owned stores throughout the south were first converted to the Goody's brand from other nameplates following the Stage buyout in 2010, as described earlier. How the tables have turned...)

If we can divide the store up into softlines and hardlines, then we can once again divide the hardlines department into a couple separate components as well. The left half - seen nearing the background in the previous image - is home to several short aisles of housewares and knick-knacks, while the right half, beginning at the space shown in the above photo, is home (largely, though not entirely) to furniture items, as well as that selection of books you see up against the rear wall.

Panning to the right, we see additional floor space devoted to furniture, as well as the linens department directly against the right-side wall. It is also worth noting that, as can be seen in this photo as well as many others, this store places its donated artwork above the wall-mounted clothing racks that can be found across the perimeter of the salesfloor.

This shot unfortunately came out slightly blurred, but I wanted to include it since it's the only one I was able to get of this compartmentalized shelving unit. Generally, this houses very bulky items that would either take up too much space if placed on their own, or cannot support themselves (i.e. would otherwise have to lay flat or against something else).

The book department is located just beyond those compartmentalized racks, in the very center of the rear of the salesfloor. Now... I'm sure you can see that the old Goody's tile pattern looks to stop halfway at the rear wall. As you would imagine, Goody's did not design the tile pattern to end so abruptly. Rather, Goodwill installed this rear wall itself, creating some backroom space for donation processing - note the slats near the ceiling, indicating that the wall was installed later. (You can even see some old track lighting scars from Goody's, if you look close enough to either side of the Books sign!) Goodwill did the same along the right side of the interior; we'll be able to see this better in a floor plan of the salesfloor coming up shortly.

This, my friends, is one of the oldest retail photos in my arsenal, dating all the way back to January 12th, 2015 (note that I joined flickr only a couple weeks prior, on December 31st, 2014!). Obviously, for retail enthusiasts the easiest way to jump into the hobby is by examining what's closest to their location, and this former Goody's quite clearly makes the cut for that. I knew that someday I would post something on this Goodwill, but little did I know that I would be running a blog on which to post it! (Or, even more than that, that I would be posting it on a friend's blog, to boot!)

One more shot of the book department before we move on. I always liked how it was centered right on top of the old Goody's tile pattern :)  I also will always remember unexpectedly coming across nearly an entire collection of old-school FoxTrot comic books on these very bookshelves, not too long after the store opened. Not the treasuries, but the individual compilations, with the very cool custom colored-pencil artwork that runs from the front cover, across the spine, and onto the back. Probably one of my coolest finds yet! Of course, these days any neat book finds are more likely to be at the Goodwill Bookstore in Horn Lake...

Beyond the book department, as noted, we find the aisles of housewares, as well as an aisle of electrical items directly against the left-side wall. I'm not certain how frequently the clothes selection turns over here, but I can attest that these housewares aisles change merchandise just about every time I visit! Items in these aisles range from home decor, to kitchenware, to glassware, to office supplies, to toys, to picture frames, to seasonal items, to lamps, to alarm clocks, to TV sets... you name it, someone donated it! I've had plenty of great finds in these aisles, too.

From electrics and housewares, a look out across the salesfloor into women's clothing, followed by a look from within womenswear itself over towards the left side wall. Along the wall, you can see two doorways: one marked Restrooms, and one marked Training Room. The restrooms (obviously) were here when this store was Goody's, but I'm unsure about the training room. Could be that that room was here but was used for something else, or perhaps Goodwill completely installed it themselves (although I find that possibility unlikely).

In the restrooms alcove, posted just above the water fountains, is this schematic showing the floor plan of the store, primarily in order to identify the emergency exits. However, I've included it here in hopes that it will give you a better idea of what modifications Goodwill made to the interior layout upon moving in back in 2009. That's the front wall of the store on the left of the picture frame; up at the top, where the "You Are Here" icon is, is the left-side wall. The three angled corners - in the upper left, bottom left, and bottom right of the floor plan - indicate the edges of where Goody's salesfloor once stood. (You'll see how I know this in a later photo.) You can also see where Goodwill placed their newly-installed right-side and rear walls, effectively creating a backwards-"L"-shaped backroom space in which they can process and sort donations. Unfortunately I don't have a picture from within that backroom, but I've been inside a portion of it before - that's where the Donation Drive-Thru leads into, so it's common for people to go in there to help the donation attendants drop off their items, or to pick up a tax receipt.

Another look at a Goody's tile circle, because apparently I couldn't take enough photos of them :)

Here are some other views from within the women's department, the top shot looking towards the back of the store and the bottom one looking over towards the fitting rooms and the right-side wall. Like all the other clothing departments, the aisles are sorted by type of clothes (say, slacks, jeans, blouses, what have you), and further by color, so that similarly colored items are placed beside each other. I'm not sure how much sorting by size, if any, is done.

This pic takes a look into the front left corner of the building. On the right side of the shot you can see an angled corner: those are what I was talking about, back at the floor plan image. Due to the walls Goodwill erected along the right side and rear of the building, this is the only one of the three original-to-Goody's angled corners that is still visible out on the salesfloor. (The floor plan does not seem to indicate the existence of a fourth angled corner, or Goody's original backroom layout, so I have no clue how Goody's laid out their salesfloor in that regard. I am at least reasonably certain, however, that all of the angled corners were indeed out in public salesfloor space, based on the presence of those slotted panels comprising the wall. If you scroll back through the photos I've posted so far, you'll see that the original Goody's walls have this paneling [also seen in Devin Blackwood's photo posted previously], while the Goodwill-installed walls lack these panels.)

Off to the left of the previous image is a sign reading "Treasure Island"... on that note, here is one such treasure I've come across on one of my many visits to this store! This tag was on a nice women's coat, if I remember correctly, and reads "Goldsmith's - Memphis' Greatest Store." An entire history of Goldsmith's would be a post for another day (and on another blog!), but a quick summary is that Goldsmith's was a very popular, local-to-Memphis department store chain that grew to seven locations at its modern-day peak. Federated Department Stores acquired Goldsmith's in 1959, and eventually rebranded the Goldsmith's stores as Macy's in 2005. Three of the seven remain open as Macy's; more info can be found at the Goldsmith's Wikipedia page.

Back to the store itself... here's another look at the Treasure Island department. As you can see in the foreground, Goodwill also stocks its selection of shoes in this area. The "Treasure Island" itself consists of a number of glass cases, as well as display space along the wall behind the counter. As the name (and presence of the lockable cases!) implies, the merchandise placed in this area is typically the more unique, valuable stuff (such as an authentically-licensed Indiana Jones weathered fedora hat, that I may or may not have purchased and placed on top of my Kroger cupola icon to serve as a model for my Lost Histories of Mid-South Retail graphic...).

Two more shots looking out across the salesfloor now, both of them very similar in nature. They were each taken from the front of the store near the shoe racks; the bottom one is more traditional, while I specifically framed the top one to try and show the expanse of the old Goody's racetrack path. Unfortunately, the old Goody's tiles are not reflected on Goodwill's floor plan shown earlier - that would be awesome if they were!

One more look across Treasure Island here, over towards the front left corner and that aforementioned angled wall. I seem to remember the glass cases being here when the store was Goody's, but again, since I was only in here once during that time and that was over a decade ago now, I really can't say for sure. For that matter, the same goes for the checkstands at customer service, too (although I feel those are less likely to remain from Goody's than these Treasure Island cases).

As we prepare to head back outside, here's one last interior photo, looking from Treasure Island across to Customer Service and, once again, menswear and the fitting rooms, where we started our stour. You could say we've come full circle - full tile circle, that is XD  (Lame) jokes aside, be sure to note that table with the computer on it, over at that support pole - as is indicated by the sign above, job seekers can apply for positions with Memphis Goodwill at that station. I don't recall the table being there during the Goodwill Manasota days...

...nor do I recall Goodwill Manasota ever running sales like the "Sunday Tag Sale" seen advertised on that sandwich board on the sidewalk in this storefront shot, so it's nice to know that Memphis Goodwill has been able to continue moving these stores forward since reassuming the North Mississippi territory in 2015. I guess all that consultation work must have paid off!

As I mentioned earlier, this store comes equipped with a Donation Drive-Thru, located along the right-side wall of the building, complete with a covered awning for all-seasons donating! The way the entire setup is laid out, particularly with that sidewalk jut-out accommodating that crosswalk, it looks like this drive-thru has always been here... but of course, we know that's not true. That said, the sidewalk must have looked out of place back in the Goody's days, since it looks perfectly tailored to the drive-thru arrangement that's here now!

Here's a wide shot of the entire building; these exterior photos, with only two exceptions, were all taken just two weeks ago, on February 3rd, 2019. It's impossible to make this out these days, since this store was designed to match the rest of the center architecturally, but prior to Goody's being built, that Dollar Tree off on the left of the pic marked the edge of the complex; as discussed previously, Goody's was tacked on shortly after the fact. You can even ever so slightly make out the spot where the two buildings were "attached" if you zoom in close enough to the image (to do this, right-click and open in a new tab).

Finally, to wrap up this post, here's a panoramic-style view showing the entirety of The Shoppes at Lee's Summit, as viewed from the neighboring Walmart parking lot (and stolen off of my flickr page, where I already posted this a few years back :P ). I hope you all enjoyed this post! In particular, I hope you found the Florida connection both surprising and interesting; I know I did, once I found out about it. (For me personally, that was actually many years before this blog post, but I only ever uncovered the reason why - which is, of course, the most intriguing part! - late last year!)

If you'd like to share any reactions, questions, information, etc., please feel free to leave a comment below... leave a comment at the auxiliary entry I've posted over at the Mid-South Retail Blog (where, since I have administrator privileges, I'm more likely to see your comment)... or just email me directly, at midsouthretailblog [at] gmail [dot] com. Keep searching for these unexpected connections, everyone... and as always, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

UPDATE, June 2020: During its pandemic-induced closure, the Hernando East Goodwill store was remodeled, and as of its reopening in late May 2020, the interior no longer looks anything like what is pictured in the above images. The old Goody's floor tile and carpeting have been removed, replaced with concrete; new paint and signage have been installed; the registers have been relocated to the front wall adjacent to the "Treasure Island"; the layout has changed dramatically -- only one row of clothing racks is present, as opposed to three beforehand; and the rear wall has been pushed forward, sacrificing a fair amount of salesfloor space in favor of expanding space for donation sorting in the back room. In short, it's a good thing I got this place documented when I did!

Retail Retell

No comments:

Post a Comment