Goodwill opshop plan hits obstacle

23:06, May 30 2014

Goodwill's plan to open a third opshop in Palmerston North has hit a snag, with the building it wanted to rent not meeting the building code.

Goodwill, Methodist Social Services' sister organisation, said in March it hoped to open another opshop in Taonui St to complement its shops in Terrace End and Highbury.

"The church has imposed a bit of a rule on what we can go into a new building for as far as the building code goes," Goodwill manager Lyal Brenton said.

"That building doesn't actually come up to that level so they're really waiting for an answer from the landlord on whether they are prepared to bring the building up to that level for us to rent it."

He was not optimistic and might have to come up with a new strategy because there was no other building the organisation could get for the same low rent.

"They were going to be very philanthropic," he said.


"Unfortunately, other landlords around town are not that keen on doing that. They would prefer to have their buildings empty and not make any income from them, or use them as a tax writeoff or whatever they want to do."

High rents would reduce the amount of money available for distribution to the community.

However, Brenton said he had not given up on the idea of a third outlet.

"It's just a timing thing and getting a place that's suitable for us. That does take a little time, unfortunately.

"We may have to stay where we are with what we do here and look for a smaller space just as a warehouse and maybe a retail premises as well."

He said a board member had a warehouse Goodwill was using as a temporary measure, which was not ideal but would do for now.

"But we're still ticking along and the shops we have are still doing well."

The Taonui St building had space for a shop, a warehouse and a workshop. It was roughly halfway between the two other shops, which meant most of the city would be covered.

Goodwill's opshop in Highbury, which opened 46 years ago, was the first in the city.

The second shop moved from King St to Terrace End three years ago.

Brenton said earlier he had always thought there was a need for a third retail outlet as Palmerston North residents were generous donors.

The organisation had only five clothing bins but received "huge amounts".

The plan to open a third outlet came when the properties on which Goodwill's two rented warehouses were sold, forcing the closure of the facilities.

The organisation raises funds for Methodist Social Services.

Manawatu Standard