Thrift store buys its way into the Short Pump market


The site of the new Goodwill store at 4200 Tom Leonard Drive in Short Pump.

The site of the new Goodwill store at 4200 Tom Leonard Drive in Short Pump.

As Short Pump Town Center gears up for major renovations, a new secondhand shop is moving in just east of the mall.

Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia plans to open its latest store next to the Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market and across from West Broad Village this fall. It will be the nonprofit’s first Glen Allen store and its 16th in the Richmond metro area.

While Short Pump’s retail demographics haven’t typically included many thrift stores, Goodwill spokeswoman Ellen Thornhill said the organization’s retail operations have done well in similarly affluent areas in Charlottesville and Hampton Roads. Numbers provided by CBRE | Richmond show an average household income of $97,000 for five miles surrounding West Broad Village.

“This economy over the past several years has brought a broad audience to our stores,” Thornhill said. “There’s a value-seeker shopper and there’s a treasure-seeker shopper who has a keen eye and knows what they’re looking for in terms of clothing labels and antiques and household items.”

Goodwill acquired its new shop, a 22,000-square-foot building at 4200 Tom Leonard Drive, for $3 million earlier this month.

The nearest Goodwill to the new store is in Fountain Square shopping center at 8018 W. Broad St. West of Short Pump, shoppers would have to drive to Centreville to find another Goodwill store.

Thornhill said the move to Tom Leonard Drive is as much about stocking shelves as it is about moving merchandise.

“That is a very appealing area for us to be in from a donations standpoint. We have a couple of donation trailers not too far from that location that do very, very well,” she said. “It’s a lot about convenience for people – even if they really believe in our mission, if there’s not a trailer or a drive-through nearby, they might be inclined to just throw it out.”

Goodwill is aiming for the Short Pump store to generate $1.5 million in revenue during its first year. Currently, its top performing stores in Richmond are at 7147 Brandy Run Drive in Mechanicsville and Fountain Square on West Broad Street.

The nonprofit has been on a retail expansion spree in recent years, funded in part by a $15 million bond package the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority issued in 2010.

Goodwill’s stores between Hampton Roads and Richmond generate roughly $42 million in revenue from the sale of donated goods each year, Thornhill said. About 82 percent of Goodwill’s total revenues go towards its job training programs throughout the Richmond and Hampton Roads regions.

The organization hopes to begin a slate of interior renovations at the new store in the coming weeks, with sights set on a fall opening. Another new store in Ashland is slated to open in March and Goodwill also plans to add a Powhatan location in the near future.


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Gloria Pope

Goodwill prices are very high in the thrift market, especially at this new Short Pump store. They rarely have sales and other thrifts do much better moving their merchandise at reasonable prices.