CHESTERTOWN — The Nearly New Shop on High Street has a different look and layout, said Nanny Porter, co-manager of the shop with JoAnn Bowdle.
Porter and Bowdle are both members of the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary, which has owned and operated the Nearly New Shop for 60 years.
Porter has been a volunteer with the auxiliary since 2013. When asked to become the new shop manager, she saw a need to make changes in the interest of increasing sales. Using many suggestions from shop volunteers, new concepts were implemented, a news releases states.
In an effort to appeal to customers, more display space was created. Porter felt that the male shoppers needed a room of their own, so the former volunteers’ work room is now the men’s department, which has been received very favorably by male customers, the release states.
“We also reorganized the remainder of the inventory by converting the first room that you enter into the housewares, jewelry, scarves and handbags display,” said Porter in the release. “The entire store has new racks that give each room an open feeling. These changes have made a big difference in that shoppers can find merchandise more easily and the open spaces allow them to move around more comfortably. Many have asked if we have added on to the building because the rooms seem more spacious.”
New sales initiatives and policies accompany the new appearance.
“We try to turn over all merchandise within six weeks. We run a 50% off sale in both the men’s and women’s departments every week and we offer a senior discount every Thursday to shoppers over the age of 60,” Porter said in the release. “To attract more student shoppers, we offer a 10% student discount during the school year, and during the month of September, to thank our first responders for the sacrifices they make every day, we are offering 10% off their total purchase.”
Nearly New’s changes have been very well received, the release states. In addition to compliments from shoppers and greater volunteer pride and satisfaction, Porter reports that sales are up.
“We are seeing big gains over the past; overall our revenues are now averaging $1,500 or more each week and that is without raising our prices,” Porter said. “I think the quality of our merchandise is better as well — not just the clothing, but wonderful donations of china, crystal, linens, art and jewelry.”
At 320 High St., the Nearly New Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Reported to be the oldest retail store in continuous operation in Chestertown, the Nearly New Shop is always in need of volunteers. If interest apply in person at the store. For more information, call 410-778-1781.