Easy to be a fash­ion­ista on a Tal­ize bud­get

(Above) Left: Carter’s cords, Gap dress and jacket, shoes, lunch bag and back­pack. Mid­dle: Le­vis jeans, Guess shirt, Zara Sweater, san­dals and Spi­der­man back­pack. Right-Nau­tica Sweater, Carters t-shirt, Le­vis jeans, san­dals and Ninja Tur­tles back­pack. Eac

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS -

Tal­ize Hamil­ton 1400 Up­per James Street Hamil­ton, ON L9B 1K3 905-318-2376 In­sta­gram.com/tal­izethrift

We all love that feel­ing when we get a great deal. In fact, the deeper the dis­count, the greater the eu­pho­ria. Now, imag­ine ex­pe­ri­enc­ing that every time you shopped, and you can begin to ap­pre­ci­ate the al­lure of Tal­ize – Hamil­ton’s sec­ond hand fash­ion, home and beauty store.

The Cana­dian for profit chain, which op­er­ates stores in On­tario and Bri­tish Columbia, fills the gap between dis­count stores and sec­ond-hand bou­tiques of­fer­ing new and nearly new items in one bright, clean and shop­per-friendly out­let.

Upon en­ter­ing the store, it’s clear that this Hamil­ton store knows how to ap­peal to the busy, yet fash­ion-con­scious shop­per. Rows of colour-co­or­di­nated racks are filled with every style of cloth­ing, or­ga­nized ac­cord­ing to size. A wide se­lec­tion of bags, purses and shoes are dis­played in a separate sec­tion; and, home ac­ces­sories such as bed and bath prod­ucts are also avail­able for pe­rus­ing.

One might be for­given for think­ing they’ve stepped into a lead­ing dis­count fash­ion re­tailer given the fa­mil­iar look and feel of Tal­ize. How­ever, the price tags in­di­cate steep dis­counts that are im­pos­si­ble to come by al­most any­where else.

“You will be shocked by how far fifty dol­lars goes for your fam­ily,” says Tal­ize store man­ager, Jen­nifer Torossi. “We re­ceive beau­ti­ful stuff from lead­ing brands all the time, and then sell them for a frac­tion of the re­tail cost.”

Each week the Hamil­ton store adds ap­prox­i­mately 25,000+ new prod­ucts to the floor, of­fer­ing cus­tomers a fresh se­lec­tion of in­ven­tory every day. Among the mer­chan­dise, shop­pers will find well-known and lux­ury brand names such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, The Loft and Coach.

“We re­cently put out a gor­geous blue flo­ral dress that would prob­a­bly sell for about thirty dol­lars at one of the big dis­count fash­ion re­tail­ers,” ex­plains Torossi. “We sold it for ten dol­lars.”

All sort­ing and pric­ing of mer­chan­dise is done on-site by em­ploy­ees who have com­pleted an ex­ten­sive train­ing course. Each do­nated item is rig­or­ously re­viewed be­fore be­ing added to the Tal­ize stock.

“We only keep gen­tly used mer­chan­dise and re­cy­cle out pieces that don’t meet our qual­ity stan­dards that our cus­tomers have come to ex­pect,” says Torossi. In fact, each Tal­ize lo­ca­tion re­cy­cles ap­prox­i­mately 2 mil­lion pounds of prod­uct each year.

Af­ter sort­ing, the prod­ucts are priced ac­cord­ing to con­di­tion and qual­ity first, and brand name sec­ond. This is of par­tic­u­lar ben­e­fit to fash­ion­istas seek­ing that trendy find with an amaz­ingly low price tag. In fact, Tal­ize has reg­u­lar cus­tomers who visit weekly, and even daily, to snap up the lat­est and great­est mer­chan­dise on the floor. Tal­ize ad­di­tion­ally of­fers sales pro­mo­tions through­out the year to offer even deeper dis­counts – the en­tire store is 50% off, a few times per year. On top of this, the store of­fers 50% off deals every day through their daily man­ager’s spe­cials.

With every change in sea­son, comes a com­plete in­ven­tory turnover to match their cus­tomers’ new wardrobe needs. The fall marks the busiest time of year for Tal­ize when Hal­loween shop­pers show up in droves to check out the store’s mas­sive se­lec­tion of cos­tumes and dé­cor. Torossi prom­ises this year will be its big­gest and best se­lec­tion yet.

Giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity is also an im­por­tant part of the com­pany’s cul­ture. As a proud part­ner of the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion of Canada, Tal­ize con­trib­utes a por­tion of every sale to this worth­while cause. Since its in­cep­tion in 2005, the com­pany has do­nated more than $1.8 mil­lion to the foun­da­tion.

If you haven’t shopped at Tal­ize, Torossi ad­vises to give it a try. A self-pro­fessed con­vert, she in­sists, “I will never work and shop reg­u­lar re­tail again.” And, she’s bet­ting once you make a few pur­chases at Tal­ize, you prob­a­bly won’t ei­ther.

Store hours: Mon. to Sat. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Left: Jeans and top, Thyme Ma­ter­nity. BCBG blazer and Coach purse with black pumps. Right: Blazer and pants, Calvin Klein, blouse, Ellen Tracy, Black pumps and Guess purse. Each out­fit is un­der $75.

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