MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries Thursday reopened 23 of its 44 retail stores — including the one in Washington — and donations centers, in accordance to and under the direction of federal, state and local guidelines.
The stores in outlying Missouri areas where the order has been lifted will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Goodwill store in Washington is located at 2030 Phoenix Center.
The shorter hours will provide extra time to clean and disinfect the stores, and the openings will include revised policies to limit exposure to others, including PPE for employees, extra training for cleaning and protection screenings, store capacity limits and social distancing, updated donation quarantine and acceptance policy.
Goodwill also is asking donors to keep holding on to their stockpiled donations to allow time to keep up with the heavy traffic of intake expected to amass in the next few weeks.
“We know this has been and still is a difficult time for all of us,” said Dave Kutchback, president and CEO of MERS Goodwill.
“We are concerned that with shorter hours, shorter staff and the onslaught of need to buy goods and donate goods, that we could be overwhelmed but we are committed to helping the community,” he said. “Reopening stores with the safety and well-being of our staff and our donors and shoppers will be our top priority.”
MERS Goodwill will be implementing safety measures as outlined by the government and CDC guidelines including:
Masks or other face coverings will be required to enter the store.
There will be occupancy limitations for customers set by the governing city/county. Goodwill will have a member of management stationed at each door to help facilitate that.
Goodwill will not allow for customers to bring in their own bags. It will encourage shoppers to bag items at cars or purchase a Goodwill reusable bag for $1.
Goodwill associates will be cleaning carts and all touch points throughout the store on an ongoing basis.
Stores and donation spaces will be practicing social distancing by asking customers and staff to maintain a 6-foot space between others. Arrows will be on the floor as a guide.
Dressing rooms will be closed. However, it will be extending its seven-day clothing return policy to 14 days.
Goodwill will now be accepting Google Pay and Apple Pay for the convenience of touchless checkout and the stores have installed plexiglass at all registers.
With regard to donations, MERS Goodwill donations will be accepted only at the stores that are open. In keeping with government and CDC guidelines, Goodwill will be taking precautions to keep everyone safe and will be using a “self-service” donation process. Goodwill asks donors to unload their own vehicles and place donations in the containers provided.
“The community and the programs we serve need us now, more than ever,” said Kutchback. “We have put procedures into place to keep everyone safe and will continue to monitor the situation, including immediately changing the way our supporters will donate their items. And, we still ask for our donors to hang on to some of their donations for when we’re fully operational and staffing is back to normal, as not to overwhelm the system.”