Century Investment Company


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Century Investment Company
181 Park Avenue, Suite 1
West Springfield, MA 01089
phone 413.785.1981
fax 413.734.7134

Call us 413.785.1981

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 23, 2009

Contact: Bob Dashevsky

(413) 785-1981

Savers and Century Center:

A Winning Retail Combination

WEST SPRINGFIELD – Savers opened at Century Shopping Center on June 11, an event the store manager hailed as the third best opening of the decade for the Seattle-based thrift store chain, noted for partnering with local charities in its more than 250 locations.

"It’s amazing," said Joseph M. Woodruff, manager of the gleaming 25,000 square foot store, which shares a free-standing building with Bob’s Discount Furniture at Century Center. "In terms of sales based on square footage, the response has been great – from West Springfield itself, the surrounding cities and towns and even Connecticut."

"We’re seeing a different mix, a different quality of customer – people who never before have shopped in a thrift. It’s a sign of the times," Woodruff said, adding that sales have been especially strong in the areas of women’s clothing and housewares.

Savers offers both new and used merchandise, including clothing, shoes, kitchenware, electronics, sporting goods, linens, toys, books and furniture. In 2008, the company hit gross sales of $550 million and employed a workforce of 10,000.

The West Springfield store, which has a staff of 50, expands the existing 10-year partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County and the Springfield Savers store on Liberty Street. Woodruff, who lives in Westfield, was manager of the Springfield store for eight years.

"The product we sell is a homerun – name brands, many new items, too," said Woodruff, pointing to the expanse of neatly organized racks and shelves that fill the store. He estimates that 40% of the used clothing collected is cleaned and displayed for sale, with the remaining 60% recycled or shipped to third world countries.

"A lot of folks don’t know that we actually take donations directly at the store, in addition to items collected by Big Brothers Big Sisters," Woodruff added. "And we still pay the charity for the direct donations." The donation center has a separate entrance with a buzzer just to the left of the store’s main entrance.

Beth Russell, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said her agency takes in more than 20 percent of its annual budget from its collaboration with Savers. She anticipates that the ongoing relationship will allow a 15 percent annual growth in services over each of the next three years.

"This is an incredible win-win situation," Russell said. "Donors get a tax write-off and the children supported by our agency are provided with a tremendous amount of services."

Woodruff said that Savers is rapidly expanding, opening in Manchester, CT, this month; Attleboro, MA, and Natick, MA, in October; and additional stores planned for Connecticut and New Hampshire over the next year.