Lines of shoppers flowed past the sidewalk and into the parking lot in the Texas heat waiting for the doors to open. Cove’s new Goodwill rose like a Phoenix from the ashes when it officially opened for business June 20.
Comparing the line of customers to those at Six Flags, area President Dan Nisley said business had been strong since the store’s soft opening the week earlier.
“Even my wife stops here to check out the deals. There were rumors flying around. Are they going to rebuild? It has taken us a while to get built back up,” said Nisley, who oversees Goodwill operations in 20 counties. “Just working with the insurance company and those things, it just takes time. We have put much more (money) into it. The insurance company didn’t pay for this (store) by itself.”
Investors were unable to determine the cause of the fire that burned the store to the ground in March 2013. The blaze was already showing through the building when firefighters arrived after receiving a 911 call from a passing motorist.
Deputy Fire Chief Gary Young said the fire was “so extensive” when the fire department arrived that it could not be salvaged, according to an article in the Killeen Daily Herald. Eventually, the roof collapsed on the building.
The estimated cost of rebuilding the new Goodwill store is $1.6 million. It has 9,000 square feet of shopping space and another 10,000 square feet for its distribution operations.
Regional Manager C.C. Davis said the new store employs 12 to 15 people in the distribution department and another 12 to 15 people on the sales floor, on both a part- and full-time basis.
“Sales amounted to $5,000 the first day and $7,000 the second day,” Davis said. “We have had parking all the way through the back. It’s now like this all the time. We are averaging about 300 people coming in every day, Business is definitely good.”
Heart of Texas Goodwill is at 2421 E. U.S. Highway 190. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.