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Goodwill Competes With Online Retailers

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Morgan Blauth/WUSF
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Signs in the Goodwill on Gandy Blvd. in St. Pete advertising the new color tag sale.

As you walk into the Goodwill retail store on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg, signs advertise 50 percent-off items with specific-colored tags. The tag sale started Sunday to try and raise falling profits at 18 local Goodwill stores.

Goodwill Industries Suncoast is nearly $1 million under budget this fiscal year, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The company has frozen employee wages and hiring for a year to lower expenses, and they're working to raise revenue in retail stores using tactics such as the tag sale.

Chris Ward of Goodwill Suncoast says online shopping may be one of the reasons sales have been low for the past few months.

"Online shopping is very popular and that’s probably a big one,” she said. “I suspect that some people who formerly got all their clothes at Goodwill, since the economy is better maybe they're going to TJ Maxx or Marshall's or something like that."

Interestingly enough, some Goodwill shoppers may be driving other potential customers to the online market.

Anthony Edelmann and Brie Lyerly resell clothes and other items—found at Goodwill— online via eBay and Poshmark. It’s their main source of income.

“We chose Goodwill because they always have a lot of things coming in, and we resell stuff,” said Edelmann.

But Kait Rhodes from Tampa says she will continue shopping at Goodwill, especially with the new sale.

"You're already getting a great deal and now you're getting an even better deal."

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