BRISTOL - Goodwill Super Store is leaving Bristol, after 14 years in the community.
The store, located in the Shop Rite Plaza, put up a sign above their entrance saying “Store closing, everything must go.” No other information was posted and employees at the store could not comment about the closing.
Cindy Bombard, president and CEO of the Central CT Chambers of Commerce said she hates to see stores close.
“They have been a staple in that plaza for more years than I can remember,” she said. “I’m hoping that the plaza owners have plans to fill that location. It’s a big store and it had a good clientele.”
Justin Malley, executive director of the economic and community development department, also said it was unfortunate to see any business close.
“These decisions have a negative impact on local shoppers, of course, but also seriously impact employees that worked at the location,” he said. “Our primary focus to address retail closures is to support workforce training to assist employees that may be out of work or those in retail that worry about an impending layoff.”
Malley said that local programs to address this problem include the free “BristolWORKS!” program offered through Bristol Adult Education and the new Tunxis Community College Manufacturing Training Program.
“These programs offer folks in retail or other volatile sectors an opportunity to train for stable, oftentimes more rewarding careers in manufacturing, healthcare, and other growing industries,” he said. “At the same time, it is also the city’s responsibility to help create a welcoming business environment to ensure empty spaces are filled with new businesses that the community can support.”
The community took to Facebook and posted their responses to the news.
“Bristol is developing everyday it’s sad to see the longer businesses leave or go out of business but change is eminent eventually,” posted Erica Pearson.
Bob Boudreau also posted on Facebook, saying that shopping online may be the cause of stores closing in Bristol.
“We all shop too much online ... with the exception of Goodwill the fact that Pier One and the other stores that have closed are victims of online shopping culture that has developed,” he posted.
Attempts were made to contact Goodwill’s media spokesperson but phone calls and emails were not returned.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.