Mike Kenney is manager of The Thrift Store, which is planning a September opening in the old Goodwill location.
KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Goodwill vacated its Keizer location in April, but a new thrift shop is gearing up to take its place.

The Thrift Store, 3840 River Road N., is pushing for a September opening, said manager Mike Kenney.

“It will be a thrift store first and foremost, but there will be different selection and a more varied mix of new items to complement the used items customers expect,” Kenney said.

The differences start with the store’s layout. Kenney relegated shelving units to the outside walls and added about 200 feet of additional space for clothing items. He’s also doubled the size of the book section.

“We’re trying to create a different shopping experience. We don’t want things like shelves jam-packed with picture frames because you can’t shop them,” he said.

Dispelling clutter and preconceived notions is only part of the plan. Customers might also find high-end items unexpected for a thrift store setting.

“We will have shoes that someone might find at Payless or Walmart up to Jimmy Choos, it will be the same with handbags up to Louis Vuitton and Coach,” Kenney said. “We want to put quality products in front of people at a real value – about half of retail.”

Kenney said the business is a new venture for the owners who have chains in California and part of another in Texas. The Thift Store isn’t technically part of those operations, but it is the flagship location in Oregon.

Those looking to donate items, like they once did at Goodwill, can also donate to The Thrift Store knowing they are helping a worthwhile cause.

All proceeds from clothing donations will support the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Foundation. The store will provide the service, but Big Brothers and Big Sisters will be the receiving agency of the donation and The Thrift Store will purchase the items from the foundation.

Kenney, a longtime Salem resident who owned and operated a delivery service for 15 years before joining The Thrift Store, said Keizer and the former Goodwill location were a natural fit for the new venture.

“We followed them into a spot that was doing well to begin with. Keizer has a nice demo and it’s a good place to start,” he said.