Local second-hand shop experiencing back-to-school rush

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Posted at 7:30 AM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 16:44:33-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – As families prepare to go back to school, children may be in need of clothes more so than in the past, especially if they spent much of last year wearing pajamas or other casual clothes while learning virtually.

“We’re seeing a lot of people shopping right now. Last year was a bit of a different year. With virtual school, we saw going more for PJs,” said Diane Hubel, who owns three Once Upon a Child shops in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. “PJs were one of our biggest sellers last year. This year, we’re seeing more denim, dresses, skirts, those kinds of things.”

Once Upon a Child is a re-sale shop where customers can bring in gently used children’s clothing and shoes. If the shop deems the items are in good condition and believes they will sell, the customer is given cash for their items.

“We think there’s a lot of pent-up demand for back-to-school clothes this year since people weren’t shopping as much this year," Hubel commented. “We see that more kids are in the store themselves; they’re trying on more items in the dressing rooms.”

This comes at a time when some big retail chains are reporting a struggle to fill their shelves and racks with clothes and shoes. Some experts say it’s partly because of a shortage of retail workers and truck drivers.

Hubel says Once Upon a Child buys more than 1,000 items daily, which is the main reason their stores are full.

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“We rely not on cargo ships, but rather our customers for our merchandise,” Hubel added.

Once Upon a Child sorts its clothing by size and color. Hubel says the average price ranges from $4.50 - $6.50 per item.