Today is the first day to shop Charlotte’s new GW brand. Items include Madden Girl wedges for $4.99, a sequined French Connection skirt for $14.99, a Loft dress for $9.99 and a Ralph Lauren button down for $12.99. (See, menfolk, you can shop here too.)
There’s plenty to take in.
The surprising part: This space is out by the airport, not where you’d typically think to go shopping. That’s because the new GW specialty store is operated by Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont at Leon Levine Opportunity Center at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus, 5301 Wilkinson Blvd. Just about 12 minutes from South End by car.
The GW brand is deliberate, said Melinda Wilshire, director of marketing and communications. From bags, to tags, the branding is meant to remind people that the money from their purchases here goes back to fund job training and employment services for people in the community.
“It’s just the little touches that remind people of the mission, that when you’re shopping you’re actually doing good for the community,” Wilshire said.
The brand also gives the impression that people aren’t shopping at a thrift store — but at a boutique.
And what Goodwill wants for the customer is to experience convenience and affordable access to clean, sleek looks throughout the merchandise. The vision and style is rooted in the work of Amy Jordan, Maureen Blackey and Tonya Nations of Goodwill’s retail development sector. The concept was tested out in the market through a pop-up shop at the EpiCentre back in November.
It did so well that Goodwill decided this permanent specialty store on Wilkinson Boulevard was the right move.
While Wilshire said a solid treasure hunter could find these styles in any of the Goodwill stores, GW organizes the merchandise into sizes and styles (and color blocks) to enhance the shopping experience.
“As people shop, we’re replenishing, so you can expect to see a different store every day,” she said.
Shoppers will be encouraged to engage online with selfie mirrors, an Instagram frame and Snapchat filter, and Boomerang. Justin Taylor from the community engagement team will be on hand to help with your Boomerang video.
As for his picks in the CW store, he said, “I’m really interested in the home decor stuff and the ways I can personalize and stylize my living space.”
Pricing: All different prices based on a “good, better, best” scale.
GW will be hosting a grand opening celebration from 9-11 a.m. June 8. Just look for the candy bar in the back.
Then start shopping regular hours, Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
More to come to this location
June 8: Grand opening of Second Editions: A Goodwill Outlet Store from 9-11 a.m. (freshly re-branded and relocated) with deep discounts and clothing sold by the pound.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Regular hours begin June 8.)
June 23: The Community Table Bistro will open for breakfast and lunch with menu items like a breakfast salad, a grilled vegetable sandwich and pumpkin bread.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
June 30: The whole building — the Goodwill Opportunity Campus — opens to clients with job training and employment services.
Goodwill Opportunity Campus: 5301 Wilkinson Blvd.
Photos: Katie Toussaint