The property in a major corner in Efrata Township, vacated by a failed national retailer, is about to be revived by a growing local one.
The new Efrata location of the former Smart Goods Store on South State Street and Rothsville Road will create about 24 jobs and attract a supermarket site at a cost of over $ 7 million.
It is scheduled to open in early 2022.
“We’ll be like puppies running in a new yard,” Goods Store head Ken Burkolder said Thursday.
The New Holland-based family-owned retailer and Goods Store, which operates four stores, describes itself as a common store for the whole family.
With approximately 220 employees, it sells clothing, footwear, clothing, home appliances, tailoring, home furnishings, lawn and garden products, sporting goods, hardware, processing products, gifts, toys, games and puzzles. The company did not release its annual revenue.
Over the past decade many retailers have been plagued by competition from e-commerce merchants, and then with epidemic-induced restrictions, the Goods Store is growing, gaining its strong, loyal following in the district’s small towns and rural communities.
Goods Store thwarted e-commerce threats by launching its own e-commerce arm in 2017. Burkolder also said revenue during its stores has risen by almost 20% during epidemics, as families spend more time at home, less time traveling or eating out. This led to increased sales of lawn and garden products, sporting goods, home appliances, handicrafts and puzzles.
The Goods Store has been operating since 2003. 1686 W. He pointed out that if it had its current 18,000-square-foot Ephrata Boro location on Main Street, that absolute increase would have been even greater. Newly purchased 1127 S. 3 miles away. That problem will be solved by the State St. property, which provides more space and visibility.
Supermarket area of projects
After expanding the building slightly from 92,500 square feet to 94,000 square feet, Goods Store wants to use about half or 47,000 square feet, making it the company’s second-largest space. Only the 72,000-square-foot East Earl store will be large. Its other stores are in Quarryville and Shafferstown, Lebanon County.
Goods Store intends to lease the building to a supermarket operator rather than lease it. Burgolder refused to identify the prospective tenant because a contract had not been finalized.
After 38 years of operation, the long-dormant property has worsened since the closure of the smart store in February 2020, said township manager Steve Sawyer.
Goods Store wants to change the baldness of the site for sure. The local retailer bought 11.5 acres of land on March 25 from a property owner’s lender for $ 4.55 million. The lender, LNR Partners of Miami, Florida, borrowed in advance in December 2019.
The Goods Store expects to spend more than $ 3 million to upgrade the well-worn, dated structure inside and out.
“We will do a complete bowel and restoration,” Burgolder said.
The interior is being removed by a restoration company, which will recycle most of the old floor, walls and roof. Subject to the township approval of its plan, the Goods Store will then install new floors, lighting and walls on the sales floor, offices and storage. Honey Brook’s Hoover architects will do the renovations, Burkolder said.
Outside, one or two carports will be installed, the 327-space parking lot will be renovated and refurbished, and storm water management will be improved.
24 new jobs
Burkolder said the plan would increase the size of the Goods Store’s Efrata staff from the current 12 employees to about 36 employees at the new store, the granddaughter of his wife, Mary Ann Store founder Harry Goodin.
Good was a farmer, and his health problems prompted him to start his own shop business in 1957. The company now owns third and fourth generation rights.
In addition to its retail functionality, the Goods Store has two other divisions: a wholesaler, Goods Distribution, which primarily sells clothing, but also sells footwear and menswear to other stores in the United States and Canada; And an information technology function, Goods Technology Services, which sells point-of-sale software and hardware to stores. The two divisions combine to employ more than 20 people, which is part of the Goods Store’s more than 220 employees.
Kmart was once a vibrant discount department store chain. The Michigan-based retailer opened its first Lancaster County store in 1970 on West Roseville Road in Fruitville Bike and Mannheim Township. In 1992 its local presence soared to six stores. But stiff competition from other discounters and e-commerce merchants led to bankruptcy filings and the closure of several round stores, cutting the local line of smartphones to its Willow Street store. But that, too, will close April 18, ending the retail chain’s 51-year local history.
Dealing with the Ephrata real estate transaction is Lancaster-based American business realty and Dwight Wagner, Don Berger Jr. of Johnstown’s Jamias Services.