The pastel-clad clerk at Second Time Around beamed at a woman who had just walked in, as if they were friends from way back. In fact, it was the customer’s first time in the consignment shop at 324 Newbury St.. She accepted a sticker-stamped card from the clerk, 23-year-old Tori Furtado, who said, “Peel it off now, I want to see how much you get. I saw someone get $300 — exciting!’’
The card, a briefly offered in-store promotion, revealed a $20 credit toward the purchase of any item on the floor. Not bad, but it wouldn’t make much of a dent in the price of a $429 pair of suede Jimmy Choo riding boots or a tan Chanel handbag, in the iconic quilted diamond pattern, for $899.
But Second Time Around was never any old secondhand clothing shop. Founded in 1973 in Newton Centre, its mission is upscale resale — in-season designer handbags, shoes, and name-brand clothes that it gets on consignment from customers or other stores. (The consignor gets 40 percent of the proceeds.)
Over the years, it has expanded to three locations on Newbury Street, plus Beacon Hill, Harvard Square, Northampton, Wellesley, and 33 other stores from Portland, Maine, to Miami. The company has undertaken a massive rebranding, shedding the quaint green-and-gold logo, dropping menswear, revamping key stores, and launching online shopping (secondtimearound.com) to appeal to the fashion-conscious working woman.
The store at 324 Newbury reopened in June with newly sanded and polished hardwood floors, jewel-crusted pendant lights, and off-white walls that conjure up a mid-century modern esthetic. In that sense, it blends seamlessly with nearby shops.
Tops and dresses fill the racks according to color; coordinating shoes and bags are strategically placed on nearby shelves. A pair of cream-color sequined Stuart Weitzman heels, for $199, looked out-of-the-box new, the original $395 price tag still fixed to the instep. It wasn’t the only pair in that style.
What’s left from sample sales or deep inventories at traditional clothing boutiques winds up here, which is how the same item in several sizes can appear on the shelves.
Ferragamo, Milly, D&G, Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren, BCBG, Tory Burch — it’s all here.
“When customers first come in, they look a little mind-blown, and I really like that,” said store manager Leslie Segura, 29, who took a job at the chain’s flagship store in Newton Centre six years ago. “I started shopping there with my sister, and finally she just said, ‘Why don’t you work here?’ I loved my sister’s look, and I found it, working here.”
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Because of reporting and editing errors, a story in Tuesday’s business section about Second Time Around incorrectly reported the location of a store, the age of its manager, and the manager’s history with the retailer. Leslie Segura, 26, manages the store at 176 Newbury St., where she started working for the company six years ago.