Goodwill outlet store set to open Feb. 5 in Olympia

Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, formerly known as Tacoma Goodwill, is set to open its first outlet store in Thurston County — its sixth overall — a company spokesman said Monday.

The outlet store is scheduled to open Feb. 5 at 4014 Martin Way E. in Olympia, not far from Sleater-Kinney Road. It will occupy an existing 25,000-square-foot building and employ 35, spokesman George White said Monday.

The building has a “coming soon” sign on it.

Thurston County currently is home to five Goodwill stores: one in Yelm, two in Lacey and two in Olympia, including a boutique downtown called Blue.

“The folks of Thurston County have been very supportive of our mission and business,” said Mark Holcomb, senior vice president of business services for the Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region.

Goodwill has various tiers to its business.

High-value merchandise or collectibles are sold online, followed by Blue, which sells designer clothing, shoes and accessories at its boutiques. Below that are the traditional retail stores, such as those found in west Olympia and Lacey.

If clothes, for example, don’t sell at either the boutiques or the traditional Goodwill retailers, they are sold at the outlet stores — by the pound, spokesman White said.

If they don’t sell after that, the clothes or merchandise are sent to Goodwill recycling centers where they are taken apart and the raw material is sold, he said.

“We try to keep stuff out of the landfill,” White said.

The stores, and there will be 35 of them in the Goodwill of the Olympics region once the outlet store in Olympia opens, help to fund Goodwill’s job-training programs, he said, including retail job training at its stores.

But those jobs are viewed as transitional, he said.

“We give them a place to get experience and a recommendation to get themselves into a retail job and a career path,” White said, adding that they work with retail partners such as Fred Meyer and Walmart.

But its not just retail store training, he said. They also have training for baristas, catering, custodial work, construction and other occupations.

The Olympics region will help about 9,500 people with job training this year, according to Goodwill data.

For those interested in a job at the new outlet store in Olympia, job seekers should periodically check goodwillwa.org for job postings. The outlet store postings likely won’t appear until December, White said, but job seekers also can check openings at other stores.