Right across from Woodland Regional High School students can see a collection of large warehouses on the way to school. Everyone passes the NEJ buildings, but what is less known is Retail 101. Located in the first warehouse after the intersection of Pines Bridge Road and Lancaster Drive, there is an easily overlooked shopping center.
I talked to an avid Retail 101 shopper and Woodland student, Mia Sansone, to get the inside scoop.
When asked what Retail 101 has to offer, Sansone responded, “So much: clothes, mirrors, lights, couches, everything you ever need.”
At Retail 101, shopping is similar to thrifting, except none of the clothes were previously worn. They take clothes and furniture from popular brands, such as Urban Outfitters and Free People, that are unsellable in regular retail stores due to minor flaws. Because of these small imperfections, everything is marked down to a very affordable price.
In my efforts to explore Retail 101, I stopped by after school one day to do a little shopping. In the end, I found a “Baby Tee” from Urban Outfitters that usually retails for $22 in-store, as Urban Outfitters usually has higher-priced items. I bought the shirt for just $7, less than half the original price.
“My favorite thing about it is that there’s a really big selection because whenever we went there there were just dresses, T shirts, sweatshirts and jackets, and I wanted it all. And the best part is you can afford it all,” said Sansone.
But with so much variety at a low price, why don’t more students know about it?
Part of this might be because Beacon Falls Retail 101 is a second location. It is a sister store to a larger Retail 101 located on Rubber Ave, Naugatuck. While many students shop at this more extensive store, they don’t know that there is another store right across the street that has opened more recently.
When asked why she doesn’t feel like the Beacon Falls location gets as much notoriety as the one in Naugatuck, Sansone said, “I feel like there isn’t like advertising for it and people aren’t really talking about it. I saw the little yard sign that says ‘Retail 101 open now,’ but that was it. And I also see the truck parked outside sometimes, but it wasn’t enough for me to be like, ‘Oh, like let me go in,’ you know?”
If you would like to shop at Retail 101, Sansone recommends that first-time shoppers take their time, as there is a lot of clothing to sort through. They also have a website where you can find all the information on the opening and closing times, along with what the stores offer. Depending on the week, the store in Beacon Falls might only offer furniture, so it helps to check before stopping in. There is also an option to sign up for the Retail 101 newsletter, where you can receive updates about what the week looks like for both stores.