The store is the organization's smallest in the area, but it remains popular.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
SALEM -- For nearly two decades, shoppers have hunted for bargains at the Goodwill store on South Broadway Avenue.
Some of the items they buy show some wear, but so does the 130-year-old building that houses the charitable business.
Recognizing that, Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries, which operates the Salem location, is freshening the store's appearance.
The organization has set aside about $75,000 for refurbishing the three-story brick building this summer and in coming months, said Melissa Pearce, marketing director.
What's being done: Over the past several weeks, workers have been installing a new roof on the building. Repairs also are being made on the structure's chimney and masonry.
Inside, new carpeting is being installed. In coming weeks, new shelving and racks will be put in and fresh coats of interior paint will be applied.
New dressing rooms are being considered, Pearce said.
Featuring about 4,000 square feet of selling space, the Salem Goodwill store is the smallest of the six operated in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys by Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries, Pearce said.
The organization also has stores in Liberty, Warren, New Castle, Hermitage and Struthers.
Store's popularity: Despite its size, the Salem store, which employs about 10 people, is very popular, particularly with working women, Pearce said.
"They enjoy going in there and finding inexpensive clothes," she added.
Built in 1871 as the Wilbur Building, the store housing the Salem Goodwill has second and third floors that are unused.
Goodwill is interested in eventually developing those spaces, which include a ballroom.
It's possible the upper floors could be used by another business or as apartments, Pearce said.
Dale Shaffer, a Salem historian, said the Wilbur Building has a long history in business.
Over the years, its ground floor has housed Fults Market, which specialized in meats.
A Western Auto hardware also was once there, as was Salem Plumbing and Heating, a contracting company, Shaffer said.
Although Salem is Goodwill's only Columbiana County location, Pearce didn't rule out one day putting another store in the county.
She noted that the organization has looked for space in Calcutta but nothing suitable was available.