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home : local news : local news
January 21, 2019

6/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
Goodwill store closing in Robinson after 46 years
After 46 years in business, Robinson's Goodwill store will close its doors in about a month.

Wabash Valley Goodwill Industries announced Friday the local store on the south side of the courthouse square will be phased out "on or near July 3."

"The Robinson location has not been financially viable," Wabash Valley Goodwill President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Tennis told the Daily News.

"We regret that we have to move out of there, buy it's not done well for some time. We just can't absorb it," Tennis explained. "We're just like any other retailer. Sometimes it just doesn't work out."

Tennis had a hand in opening the Robinson store in its original location in 1972. The store, on East Main Street, was flattened in 1979 when the Woodworth Hotel burned and collapsed on it. Goodwill moved to its current site, its third Robinson home, in 1983.

It is the eighth store Tennis has had to close. "It's certainly never fun for either the community or for the Goodwill employees," he added.

Until recently, the local store employed four workers. Two have quit, while the remaining two are being offered employment at other area stores. The closest is in Sullivan, Ind.

Tennis pointed out there is always the possibility of Goodwill making a return to Robinson someday. The Charleston Goodwill closed in 1994 and re-opened about 20 years later. A store in Linton, Ind., closed in 1985 and only re-opened in April.

Of course, not all comeback attempts are successful. Marshall's Goodwill store was closed in 1981 and re-opened two years later, only to close again after another two years.

Goodwill was founded by Rev. E.J. Helms in Boston more than 101 years ago. Rev. Theodore Grob Sr. started the Wabash Valley chapter in 1927. At the time, Terre Haute was the smallest city to ever host a Goodwill.

Today, Goodwill is the largest private sector employer of people with disabilities or with special needs in the world. Its primary purpose, however, is to train and place disabled persons in the economic mainstream.

Wabash Valley Goodwill is one of the local autonomous member organizations in the United States, Canada and 23 other countries.

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