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MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries opens new Jennings store

MERS Goodwill’s new store opened Thursday

JENNINGS, Mo. — MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries has set the opening date for a new retail store in Jennings that will replace its Forest Park Avenue store in Midtown.

The store at 4200 Forest Park Ave., in a building the nonprofit sold to Washington University in 2019, closed Saturday. MERS Goodwill’s new store, located at 8007 W. Florissant Ave., will open Thursday, at 10 a.m. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the store just prior to the opening.

The nonprofit MERS Goodwill operates resale shops to support its rehabilitation program, through which it prepares applicants for job interviews, helps them find employment and supports them in keeping their jobs.

The new Jennings store boasts 16,000 square feet of retail space in what is a former Target location. About 20-25 workers will be employed at the new location. Among the features at the new Jennings store is a donation drive-thru canopy.

MERS Goodwill bought the property in December 2019 for $1.2 million, its president and CEO, Dave Kutchback, previously told the Business Journal.

The budget for the build out of the space was $3.1 million, officials said, with contractors including Abernathy Construction and GS&S Construction.

The retail store takes only a fraction of the Jennings’ building’s 128,000 total square feet of space. MERS Goodwill previously relocated several other operations to the property, including its e-commerce division, with up to 100 employees, and its contracts division, a sheltered workshop business with about 75 employees.

The Jennings location now has a renovated 10-bay truck dock serving more than 73,000 square feet of space for MERS Goodwill’s expanded e-commerce division.

The building also houses an 8,900-square-foot shared employee café.

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