What may look like a failure for the new Gray Willow Fashion Exchange, which is closing, actually is a step in the right direction for Goodwill Industries of Kansas.
So says Molly Fox, the nonprofit’s vice president of marketing and development.
Gray Willow, Goodwill’s trial consignment shop, is not going to sign a long-term lease at Towne West Square where it has been for the last few months.
“We had a lot of interest from consignors,” Fox says. “However, we didn’t have the momentum for shoppers. We just felt like we needed more time to build the brand and educate the public about the concept.”
Goodwill, which is known for its stores with donated items, did a pop-up sale with consignors for more high-end merchandise in May in the former Jo-Ann Fabric space at the mall.
“That was successful,” Fox says.
Then Goodwill signed a temporary lease for space near the food court for weekend sales in September, October and November. The idea was to build a clientele going into Christmas, but Fox says it didn’t happen.
The boutique will be back again, initially with some more pop-up sales starting in the spring.
“The goal is to eventually have another storefront,” Fox says. “We have to make sure it’s successful.”
In the meantime, the store will be open this weekend, and then there will be half-off sales for the following two weekends.
Fox says she’s eager to see the store return, and she doesn’t see its trial run as a failure.
“It’s exciting because we’re trying new things,” she says.
“We do feel like it was a success in that sense,” Fox says. “I feel like we did a really great thing.”