The owners of a new consignment shop in Libertyville are having a tough time keeping North Face fleece jackets and Under Armor shirts on the racks. And home accessories and purses are other hot items.
Tricia Regan and Erin Heard recently opened ReNew Family Consignment in Libertyville. Trendy items are the focus of the new store that opened less than a month ago. Home decor, small furnishings, sports and exercise equipment, women's accessories and hip name brand clothing for children and teens are the focus of the shop at 1750 N. Milwaukee Ave. near Route 137.
The business owners say they carry things that families want, from baseball cleats and patten leather shoes to musical instruments. Regan said they have some new items they have acquired from closeout sales, including Coach purses, jewelry, computer bags and candles.
The majority of the merchandise in the store is marked at about 50 percent of the original retail price. For example, North Face jackets, which sell for more than $100 at retailers, sell for $40 at the new shop, Regan said.
She added that they only accept items that are "like new" and name-brand clothing.
The concept is going over well. During the first 25 days in business, they signed up 120 individual consignors, who earn 40 percent of what the items sells for in the shop.
Home decor items must be like-new and up to date. Waterford candlesticks and a mahogany hutch were recent items for sale at the shop.
As another way to bring in the hottest fashions and work with community organizations, the business owners have developed a program with local groups looking for fundraising opportunities.
For example, the Oak Grove PTO is in the process of gathering gently used Halloween costumes. When ReNew sells a costume, the PTO will gain the 40 percent consignor commission.
"We're expecting to put out hundreds of Halloween costumes next week," Regan said. The entrepreneurs are also working with the Wildcat Parent Organization that has collected Wildcat clothing and the local park district is consigning dance attire donated by its supporters. Additional groups are signing on as well.
The owners, Libertyville residents who met about three years ago through their children, have designed the store with hardwood floors to look more like a boutique. "It's not a flea market," Regan said.
She is finding that the economy and the recycling effort has changed shoppers opinions about resale. "The green trend of consignment shopping is sweeping the nation and is one part of the retail industry that has seen sizable growth in the new economic environment," Regan said.
For more information about ReNew Family Consignment, call (847) 573-1513 or renewfamilyconsignment.com.
• Kim Mikus covers small business and retail. She welcomes comments at (847) 427-4567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.