Goodwill opening new Retique in Historic Third Ward
While boutiques and entrepreneurs have made Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward the premier shopping destination near Downtown, non-profit icon Goodwill Industries is ready to also call the neighborhood home. Its Retique will open in May.
Goodwill, as a part of its continued store growth in Milwaukee and Chicago, will open a 5,343-sq. ft. retail outlet 190 N. Broadway, the site of former high-end florist, Private Gardner. Goodwill, at the end of February, opened a similar concept store in Carol Stream, Ill.
Like many of Goodwill's newer retail stores, it will target a more middle-class shopper with a clean, bright, well-organized layout and merchandising flair that rivals fashionable chains and boutiques.
"Retique will be Goodwill's first boutique featuring some wonderful designer fashions, vintage items and brand name accessories," said Pat Boelter, vice president of marketing for Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin.
"Opening a boutique is a new business model for us, but one that certainly supports our mission. While this is the first boutique for our Goodwill, other Goodwills throughout the country have had tremendous success in opening and running boutiques."
Goodwill began an effort to "upscale" many of its retail stores with the creation of amazinggoodwill.com, a site for which OnMilwaukeee.com did the back end development.
Retique will reuse fixtures from other boutiques and retailers as it completes the build out of the space.
"Reuse is very important to us and part of our operating philosophy," said Boelter. Overall, she added, when compared to the "typical" Goodwill store, the store will be smaller and will look "totally different."
Goodwill is working with occasional OnMilwaukee.com blogger Bjorn Nasett, a fashion consultant and stylist at Beauty, on some of design and marketing elements.
Retique will remain true to the Goodwill mission, noted Boelter.
"As with all our stores there will be a variety of clothing, accessories and household items. However, we are hoping to offer more name brands, designer labels and vintage items than our usual store. We will also be selling artwork and crafts from Goodwill participants at this location to support our mission."
A grand opening celebration is being planned for mid-May.
"We will have a lot of 'extras' planned to celebrate the grand opening of Retique, with the help of some of our new Third Ward neighbors," said Boelter.
Having just moved to Milwaukee, I'm in awe of the number of second hand/consignment stores. So to put this atrocity in the trendy and fashionable Third Ward is embarrassing for Milwaukee. This is not fashion or style it's out of date 90's flare jeans and lacy camis. But everyone just wants a deal, why are citizen's of Milwaukee so cheap?
Before you rush out to shop there, take a close look at where your money is going. Goodwill has lost its sense of mission. The money is not going to support the mission; it's going to pay huge salaries to the top execs and to build a luxurious new HQ in Oak Creek. The CEO and top officers make so much, it would embarrass an exec at AIG. Before you go to Retique, ask yourself why Goodwill is spending a fortune on rent for a store in the 3rd Ward and not using the money to help people? Did you ever notice how there are no people with disabilities working at Goodwill stores? Ever wonder why? They are supposed to help people overcome barriers to employment but they won't employ those people themselves. Take the time to spend your money at places like St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army, where you are really giving back, as well as getting a good bargain.
I hope its fabulous! I'm just sorry that BV didn't get a shot at the concept--we've been dying for another nice resale option (in addition to Luv Unlimited).
I'll probably still go to Value Village on North and Salvation Army on 27th, but this is cool to see, too. As long as people are reusing, that's a good thing. It kind of feels like when your favorite unknown band goes mainstream, or something.
Shopper | April 8, 2009 at 9:03 a.m. (report)
East Town Women's Resale Clothing Store has been in the Third Ward for 20+ years. It's no "nicer" or "worse" than any other Goodwill store or trendy thrift shop. It does very well and people of all incomes shop there. Everyone wants a bargain. Goodwill will serve the ad agency folks, college kids, lawyers, dentists, downtown dwellers and everyone in the area. It's a great fit. Check out their store(s) in suburban Chicago. Nicer than many local boutiques.
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