Hartford’s Harc to open for-profit store in W. Hartford
Original article by Joe Cooper for the Hartford Business Journal
Hartford nonprofit Harc Inc. says it plans to open a brick-and-mortar retail store in West Hartford Center to provide jobs for people with intellectual disabilities.
The storefront at 18 La Salle Road will be Harc’s first for its recently launched novelty and luxury sock subsidiary company SockStarz, which helps provide work opportunities for people with disabilities.
The subsidiary business debuted in April and now has consulting and funding support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Harc said it plans to open the 550-square-foot store, which is currently in the design phase, in space currently occupied by Patsy’s Barber Shoppe in mid- to late-September. Patsy’s will eventually vacate the storefront and consolidate its operations at its two other locations in Wethersfield and Glastonbury.
The store, which will feature nearly 1,000 varieties of socks, currently employs seven Harc participants working in inventory management, customer service and order shipment. Employees have received job training in e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales through several pop-up shops in the region such as the Know Good Market in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood.
Harc is encouraging other adults with intellectual disabilities to explore employment opportunities at the SockStarz store.
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