Business Columns & Blogs

Shop Around: Former Stein Mart will become consignment store

The old Stein Mart on Polo Road at Two Notch Road in Northeast Richland will get a new life as a second-hand store.

Roundabouts Consignments will move into the 36,000-square-foot store at 70 Polo Road in January, more than quadrupling its size. The store has been on O'Neil Court near Columbia Place mall for six years.

"We have outgrown this space years ago," owner Richard Neth said. "We were passing up so much business because we just didn't have room."

More people are seeking consignment shops in a brutal economy that has left personal budgets battered.Sales at consignment shops were up 67.4 percent nationwide in the third quarter, compared with the same time period last year, according to a survey by the National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops.

Neth said the number of people looking to consign items at his store has grown by 20 percent in the past year.

People bring in their used items for Neth to sell instead of trying to sell them on their own. They get part of the profits and he keeps part.

The extra space will allow Neth more display room for furniture, home decor and antiques. And he will be able to expand his clothing section to include men's clothing and a much larger children's section.

Roundabouts will close Dec. 23 and plans to reopen in its new space the first week in January.

Stein Mart closed its Polo Road store in October, citing the economy and slow sales.

Neth said it was a good opportunity for him, even though he would have liked to keep Roundabouts in the Columbia Place mall area, on Two Notch Road at Decker Boulevard, rather than migrating farther Northeast. Many stores have moved from the first-ring suburb out near the Clemson Road area as the population has shifted.

"There's just no building that size over here that would accommodate us," he said.

Info: myroundabouts.com or (803) 736-5446

Get Your Gear On now on Candi Lane

An outdoor outfitter consignment shop also recently expanded in Columbia. Get Your Gear On moved from Five Points to 208 Candi Lane, Suite A, near Riverbanks Zoo.

Tim Ray, who owns the shop with partner Hartley Barber, said the store expanded to 2,000 square feet from 750 and now has plenty of free parking. The store was in Five Points for more than three years.

The move also gets the duo closer to Columbia's rivers. They offer trips along the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers and give free lessons to anyone who buys a boat.

In addition to consignments of camping gear, canoes, kayaks and skis, the store offers some new merchandise.

Info: getyourgearon.com or (803) 799-0999

Snag more than a sweater at Goodwill

Now you can shop for more than clothing and home accessories at the Goodwill at 6642 Garners Ferry Road. You might be able to snag a job.

Last week, the store opened a new "Job Connection" center. The center offers computer and Internet use, fax machines, telephones as well as job leads and referrals. A trained employment specialist also is on site to offer assistance.

Other services include resume development, interviewing skills and classes in basic computer literacy and English as a second language.

Info: (803) 783-2696

Brixx Pizza reopens after fire

Brixx Pizza in Northeast Richland's Village at Sandhill has reopened after a fire damaged the building in July.

"You wouldn't even know there was anything that happened at this place," general manager Emmett Nolan said. "Nothing looks different."

Even most of the staff members have returned, Nolan said.

But there has been one small change: reduced prices on some menu items "to help our customers through the hard times," Nolan said.

Kids' pizzas, for example, used to come with a drink for $4.95. Now, children can get pizza (or pasta) with a drink and a scoop of ice cream for $2.95. And all sandwiches cost $6.95. Previously, they ranged from $6.95 to $7.95.

Shop shorts

- Macy's in Columbia Place mall is offering customers "A Southern Season" gourmet gift baskets this holiday season.

- K.D.'s Treehouse, 2900-C Devine St., is now selling organic cotton sleepwear for the holidays for babies and children.

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