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Women's resale apparel stores becoming popular

Brand-name jeans are sold at a quarter of the retail price at Clothes Mentor stores. Staff photo by Riham Feshir

Shopping for the fall may be a little easier this year.

The trend of resale versus retail is catching on, according to a nationwide company with a Woodbury franchise.

Clothes Mentor, a store in Woodbury that buys and sells brand-name women's apparel, is seeing a jump in sales figures.

Owner of the local location Mark Hoon said the store saw a 15 percent jump over the last year. The store opened in 2010.

He said it's hard to say if it's a reflection of a down economy or not, but it could be a reason.

"I'm sure the economy hasn't hurt, it's made people become more aware of their dollar," he said.

The store buys women's clothing, shoes and accessories as well as sells them. More customers stop in there to sell items than to shop, according to the owner.

"It's easier for someone to get cash than to pay cash," Hoon said.

Currently, the store is set up for fall and winter merchandise with jackets, blazers and boots, which sell for a quarter of their retail value.

"Once you pay a quarter for something that you don't know the difference of, it's hard to go back to retail," Hoon said. "A deal is a deal."

President of the company Chad Olson said the business started during the recession, which was risky but there was a niche in the market.

"We're seeing extreme sales increases compared to regular women's clothing retailers," he said. "In 2009, Clothes Mentor franchisees open a year had a comparative store increase of 28.9 percent, while typical retailers were seeing double digit decreases in sales."

Hoon became a Clothes Mentor franchisee after his income from his real estate business hit bottom, according to a company spokesperson.

"At first, I was concerned about buying-selling 50,000 items per store a year. But the supply is endless," he said.

Clothes Mentor has the same concept as Once Upon a Child and Plato's Closet. All three stores are located in the Woodbury Commons strip mall.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.