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Goodwill opens new Westfield store

Date: 8/29/2012

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD — Goodwill Industries celebrated the grand opening of its store in Little River Plaza on Aug. 24.

Originally the store was located on Franklin Street, but was relocated to increase the store's accessibility to customers by providing a location free from heavy traffic.

"We've [Goodwill] been in Westfield for five years," Steve Mundahl, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley Inc., (GIPV) said. "[The prior location] was a very good spot, but we decided to move from one end [of the city] to the other, due to the traffic patterns [which have increased and created congestion]."

Les Lohnes, chair of the GIPV volunteer board, stated, "I think it's going to be an excellent move."

Store manager of the Little River Plaza location, Carol Poteat, said customers have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the store. "I walk to work, and customers have been stopping me asking when the new store will open — the excitement is there [for this new location]."

Shirley Carpenter, longtime member of the volunteer board, expressed her passion about the company. "We're [the board] is fortunate that Goodwill has very strong people, who keep [the business moving] in the right direction through good and bad [economically speaking]."

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At time of publication, the store didn't have telephone service. Tentatively, store hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday.