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Goodwill store in downtown L.A. closes despite gentrification around it

December 31, 2010 |  3:06 pm
"This place is like a staple of the community," says one customer. "You have a lot of artists in lofts who shop here. It's not just for poor people."

Its prices were low. But in the end, the downtown Los Angeles used-goods shop simply wasn't used enough.

That's the reasoning behind the planned closure Friday of the 35-year-old Goodwill Store at 235 S. Broadway.

"The downtown store is actually in the lower-to-middle range in terms of volume of business," said Sasha Itzikman, director of marketing for Goodwill Industries of Southern California.

Nonetheless, countless downtown loft apartments and business offices have been outfitted with quirky artwork and inexpensive furnishings since the store opened in 1975. And the closure will affect thousands of residents and office workers who stretch their shopping dollars by buying secondhand clothing there.

Although known for its bargains, the Goodwill store received national attention in 2007 when the New Yorker magazine reported on arachnologist Greta Binford's spider hunt in the basement. She had collected 30 live members of the South American species Loxosceles laeta, a more venomous cousin of the brown recluse.

Read the full report on the Goodwill store here.

-- Bob Pool

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times