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Style Savings: Bloomingail’s Consignment is a win-win for buyers and sellers

By Ashley Daniels

Sure, there’s Bloomingdale’s in The Big Apple, but then there’s Bloomingail’s Consignment here in Little River that’s made quite a name for itself in the retail industry over the last 27 years.

Owner Gail Roberson says she first fell in love with the idea for her own store while working part-time on Saturdays at a consignment shop that used to be in North Myrtle Beach. At the time, she was also working full-time as a secretary for an insurance company.

“I loved it so much that I thought, ‘I think I might be able to do this,’ so I did,” says Roberson. “My main reason for this shop goes back to my younger days when I was divorced and had three children and no child support. I bought my clothes at yard sales if I had a dollar left over from paying the bills. But, as my life got better, I continued to be a thrift shopper. It just stuck with me. And, when I decided to open my own business, I knew there are a lot of women, especially older women, who live on social security, and oftentimes they’re taking care of their grandchildren, and they don’t have a lot left over to spend on themselves. So, I always wanted a really nice place to shop where every woman could have nice things.”

Roberson prides herself on offering a chic boutique ambience for clientele. But Bloomingail’s is beneficial not only for buyers but also for consigners. She says that each time the shop moved (seven times) over the years, the database of consigners has grown exponentially, starting from five to more than 5,000 today.

“I just love doing this!” she says. “I have a great staff.”

Here is how Bloomingail’s consignment system works:

  • Staff takes appointments with a consigner every 30 minutes during the day, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is the amount of time Roberson says it takes to enter the inventory into the system, tag them, and get the items out on the floor.
  • The consigner can bring in 20 clean, ironed, and on-hanger items of clothing and 15 other items, such as shoes, purses, or home decor products.
  • The consigner is then paid a 40 percent commission on sales under $50, a 50 percent commission on sales between $50 and $100, and a 60 percent commission on sales from $100 to $200.

“The next appointment available is sometime in August,” says Roberson. “We like to accept clothing that is in style, not one of those Sunday school dresses you wore in the 11th grade. … There are different kinds of women that shop here, so I try to have merchandise that fits all styles of women.”

Merchandising is Roberson’s favorite thing about her job. In addition to clothing that she prices at mostly under $10 and home décor items, Bloomingail’s also sells furniture pieces and costume jewelry for under $15.

“I like it when I put something up on a mannequin and turn around and somebody bought it,” she says with a laugh, “so I must be doing a good job. The store floor changes almost every day because new items are coming in constantly.”

At age 84, Roberson has no plans of slowing down at Bloomingail’s.

“People ask me all the time, ‘When are you going to retire?’ she says. “And I say, ‘Well, what am I going to do? I’m not going to clean my house!’ I’d be in here everyday shopping, so I might as well work while I shop!”

Bloomingail’s Consignment is located at 1468 Highway 17 in Little River. For more information, visit www.bloomingailsconsignmentsc.com.

Haley Brandon

Haley Brandon

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