The Nearly New Shop on High Street in Chestertown has a new look and layout, according to 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 the past 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 inthe interest of increasing sales. Using many suggestions from Shop volunteers, new concepts were implemented.
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.
“We also reorganized the remainder of the inventory by converting the first room that you enter into the housewares, jewelry, scarves and handbags display,” says Porter. “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. As Porter explains, “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. 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. 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 $1500 or more each week and that is without raising our prices,” she says. “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.”
Located at 320 High Street in Chestertown, the Nearly New Shop is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Weekly sales are listed in the Tidewater Trader.
Reported to be the oldest retail store in continuous operation in Chestertown, the Nearly New Shop is always in need of volunteers and interest person may apply in person at the store. For more information, call 410-778-1781.
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,500 employees, medical staff, board members, and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.