MERS Goodwill shoppers in the area will have a new place to shop with the grand opening of its new Rolla retail store.

The new location in the Forum Plaza Shopping Center will have 16,400 square feet of floor space and will replace MERS Goodwill’s smaller location at 1304 Forum Drive. 

The new buildout will allow for new docks, new bright LED lighting, new auto slider entry doors and donations will now be accepted at the front of the store, according to the non-profit in a news release. 

The opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new location is set for 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 in the Forum Plaza Shopping Center at 10th St. and Forum Drive. 

In a statement on the grand opening, President and CEO of MERS Goodwill, David Kutchback, said, “We continue to look for more ways to better serve our customers and address the needs of the community throughout the area.” 

“This new location will provide shoppers with the great prices and experience they expect in a brand-new store, including better lighting and a more convenient donating process,” Kutchback added. 

Revenue from MERS Goodwill’s retail stores helps fund its employment and rehabilitation programs to help individuals who face economic, physical, mental or other disadvantages look for and find employment.  

Some of the services offered are education and literacy programs, basic software skills and skills training as well as job development and placement activities. 

Additional programs offered through Goodwill also include four Goodwill Excel Centers in Missouri that are free adult high schools located in St. Louis, Springfield, Poplar Bluff and Columbia. Residents can find more information on its store and career center locations, and the Excel Centers at www.mersgoodwill.org.