A glimpse into Plato’s Closet

by Clay Neely - clay@newnan.com

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 Allison Spartis, owner and general manager of Plato’s Closet in Newnan, 

In terms of fluidity, keeping up with the fashion trends and needs of young adults and teenagers isn’t the easiest job in the world, especially for parents.

However, Plato’s Closet has based its business model around not only the acquisition of gently used clothing but also the sales of the current fashion trends.

According to Allison Spartis, owner and general manager of the recently opened Plato’s Closet in Newnan, this location marks their largest store in the metro Atlanta area to date.

“It generally takes six to eight weeks to fill up a store and we started from nothing and opened up in five-and-a-half weeks. That’s how fast the product came in and we’ve been slammed ever since,” said Spartis.

Spartis certainly believes that more and more shoppers are coming to Plato’s Closet first before heading to the larger retail stores. While there is an obvious cost advantage of shopping at a store like Plato’s, the thrill of the hunt is also prevalent.

However, Plato’s Closet isn’t your typical secondhand clothing store. They specialize in acquiring gently used clothing and accessories from top-name brands that are cool, hip, trendy, clean and in good condition.

Typically they aim to buy items that have been in the retail stores within the past 12 to 18 months and are current teen and young adult styles that are still seen in the stores.

“You walk in and it doesn’t feel like a used clothing store but more like a regular retail store,” said Spartis.

“The unique thing about this store is that we’re extremely picky about what we take in,” said Spartis. “Everything has to be in ‘like-new’ condition so our customers see that it’s not a thrift store filled with worn-out clothing. It’s filled with current items and we keep up with the current trends of what the high school and college kids are wearing right now.”

It’s a hit with parents of young adults as well.

“Teenagers grow in and out of their clothes so fast and their styles are changing just as quickly,” said Spartis. “It’s easier on the parents’ wallets who are trying to keep up with their ever-changing needs.”

Spartis notes that the need to keep up with the current styles and trends is paramount.

“We have a lot of training guides in place that focus on what’s trending at the moment. We also send our buyers over to the stores in Ashley Park to kind of take a glance at what they’re selling. That’s what we want to buy,” said Spartis. “We ask for it and it comes in.”

“The principle behind the store is simple,” said Spartis. “It makes it easier on your wallet, shopping for the brand names you like and not having to pay full price.”

The recent holiday season was an extraordinarily busy time for the newly-opened store.

“Around this time of the year, people are looking for some extra cash, so January is a busy buying month for us. I’d say more people are bringing in items than shopping. But sales were a little higher around Christmas time,” said Spartis.

So what is their most in-demand item?

“Jeans,” said Spartis. “Without a doubt, jeans for guys and girls. They make up three quarters of our business.”

With the largest Plato’s Closet in the metro Atlanta area, Spartis is enthusiastically optimistic about the future.

“The Plato’s Closet concept has been around for 16 years, so I think the brand recognition is there. Everyone was real excited that we opened up a location here in Newnan and the community has been very supportive of us,” said Spartis.

“You still have people who wander in and wonder what we’re about but once they do, they’re really excited.”



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