By Mitch Kaskie
When John Nichols’ daughter Allyson kept making the drive from their home in south Overland Park to the old Plato’s Closet on Shawnee Mission Parkway, he began to wonder what the big deal was about. Why would a teen make that drive just to sell and buy some clothes?
After some research, John found his answer. Plato’s Closet was the fastest growing retail franchise in North America with over 400 stores. After realizing the opportunity at hand, in 2008 he decided to open up his own Plato’s Closet located in Lawrence.
Allyson, who was in college at the time, began working for her dad at the store. After their Plato’s Closet met with success, John decided to open another in Mission where the old Blockbuster used to be on Johnson Drive. Work on the store began in May, and their doors opened for buying customers’ clothes in June.
“Our grand opening is in a week,” Allyson, now the store manager, said. “Right now we are only buying clothes from customers because we have to meet a certain level of inventory. But that will be reached over a month earlier than expected and our doors will open for selling on August 7.”
Clothes to sell can simply be brought to the store for evaluation. While you are waiting, a Plato’s Closet employee will sort through the clothes and look at the condition, brand, and whether it is in style. This information will then be plugged into a computer which will price it, usually at 50-70 percent off the retail price. The seller (you) will receive 30-40 percent of that price in cash.
“We buy more based on style than we would on the brand,” Allyson said. “Really what we look for are styles that have been in retail stores for the past year and a half, and that aim for ages ranging from 13 to 30.”
When you sell your clothes to Plato’s Closet, you can also trade on the same day, which means anything you buy in the store is 10 percent off and exempt from sales tax.
Plato’s Closet Mission is open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. The store is located at 6620 Johnson Drive. The Grand Opening will be Thursday, Aug. 7.