Fourth in series about five consignment and thrift shops in North Andover.
The store may be a little difficult to find, but once you do, the owners of Kids Karousel, a children's retail consignment store are certain it will be well worth the effort.
The store owned by sisters Claire Parolisi and Sylvie Foulds has been located at 199 Pleasant Street, off route 125 across from Hafners for the past 16 years. It was on Water Street for two and half years until it outgrew that space. With 1800 square feet, Kids Karousel sells quality, new and used children's clothing, used teen clothing, toys, books, videos, strollers and furniture.
"People are surprised by the size of our back room," Parolisi explained.
When Parolisi of Haverhill and Foulds of Bradford first opened the store, they had young children. Foulds who had always worked in retail said she used to bring her children's clothes to a consignment store in Rye, New Hampshire. When she decided to go into own business, she asked her sister to join her.
While Foulds said they takes most things that pertain to children, Parolisi explained that is has to be in clean, very good condition, no stains or rips, but it doesn't have to be a name brand.
New items are purchased and sold at a discounted price. Some of the new items include Kidorable raingear, Angel Dear animal blankets and rattles, Wee Ones handmade barrette, bows and headbands as well as others. They also sell Snowstoppers, stay on waterproof mittens, which are made locally.
Foulds explained how consignment worked in the store. She said there were two seasons, Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer, for which they accept consignments, and they now were booking appointments 5-6 months out in March. If an item does not sell or if deemed non-saleable, consigners can reclaim it or it will be donated to charity.
Consigners get 50 percent on clothes and 70 percent on furniture and other items. According to Foulds, they can receive credit towards purchases or a receive a check.
Customers as well as consigners come from all over. Foulds explained there is no other competition in the area. Although Jane on a Budget also sells teen clothes, the selection differs.
Toward end of each season, clothes are marked half off, and on the 2nd Mon of July and the 2nd Monday of February, customers can fill a bag of clothes for $10.
When asked about how the economic downturn has affected business, Foulds said, "If people are not spending, they are not spending at our store."
"Years ago, people would come in to buy something and leave with more. Today, people come in for the one thing and leave," Foulds explained. She also said that department stores are giving away clothes with their sales.
Parolisi added that a lot more people today want to be consigners in order to make some money.
Both Parolisi and Foulds feel that their best advertising is by word of mouth. They belong to the North Andover Merchants Association, and participate in the annual Santa parade.
Kids Karousel has a return policy of 7 days with a receipt and tags for a refund. Store credit will be given if return does not meet those requirements.
The hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays frm 10 a.m to 3p.m. The Web site is www.kidskarousel.net, and the phone number is 978-685-1616.