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Frugally hip: Sell, buy trendy duds at Plato's Closet
By Amy E. Williams | Daily Herald Columnist

Serena Shearer, left, and Daylen Burke organize items at Plato's Closet a new resale shop in Algonquin geared toward teens and young adults. Right now the store is buying, and soon will be selling, used clothing and accessories in good condition.


Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/16/2010 12:00 AM

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A new resale shop selling hip clothing for teens and young adults is open on Randall Road in Algonquin.

Plato's Closet, which buys and resells popular clothing such as Hollister, Aeropostale and Forever 21, opened last month at 1481 S. Randall in Algonquin.

For now, owners Barb and Larry Keen are buying gently-used clothes from community members to stock their store.

Larry Keen said he expects to start selling the clothing at the end of this month or the beginning of July, or as soon as they have enough stock to open the store for sales.

"It's going to be cool clothing that appeals to teenagers and young adults, maybe up to 24 or 25," Keen said.

Plato's Closet is a franchise, with nearly 300 locations across the country.

The Algonquin spot is the 11th in the Chicago area, with the closest being in Schaumburg.

Keen said he and his wife heard about Plato's Closet from their son's friend who runs one in another state. They were interested in opening one. This area was the last territory available in the state to franchise, and they jumped on the opportunity, he said.

"It was a good match. We live in this area and it has the right demographics - the younger demographic.

"We're very pleased with it on all accounts.

"We like the area. It's very close to Algonquin Commons so that helps a lot too. That was by design. It's being very well-received by the community," he said.

While those looking to purchase the clothing will have to wait a little longer, if you want to sell your items you can do so any day of the week, Keen said.

There is no appointment needed.

The store buys clothing from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

"We buy all seasons all year long and we pay on the spot. It's not a consignment shop. If somebody has cool clothes that are in really good condition, we'll take them," owner Larry Keen said.

"We look for clothing that is freshly-laundered, in good condition," he said.

Keen said his employees have become experts at inspecting the clothing that comes in carefully for any holes, stains and wear, so they can be sure they are selling the highest-quality items.

"We look for labels that have been selling in the malls within the last 18 months or so," he said.

In addition to clothes, they're also interested in belts, purses, jewelry and shoes.

"Once again, it needs to meet the same criteria," Keen said. "It's something a teenager or that 20-something is going to want and it's going to appeal to them. It has to be in style."

Keen said buyers can expect to find clothes for up to 70 percent less than what they would find it at the store when it was first purchased.

When a customer brings an item in, it is entered into the computer and they're given a price.

The computer then prices the article for what it will sell for on the rack.

If you're interested in finding out when you can buy those clothes, you can sign up for an e-mail alert list at the store's website at

Coming Soon: Just in time for summer, a new Dairy Queen is coming to the Randall Road corridor. The eatery is opening in Elgin on the west side of Randall, just north of the I-90 tollway.

Send your news of businesses on Randall Road, from Batavia to Crystal Lake, to