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Business

Crossroads Trading Co. Racks Up Resales of Name Brands

New shop in former Russ' Camera store is latest outpost for chain buying, selling and trading mostly used clothing, shoes and accessories

Berkeley-based Crossroads Trading Co. opened with a bang Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara.

Julie Brown, vice president and district manager, scarcely had time to talk as she rang up sale after sale of mostly used clothing purchases at the company’s newest store, at 1025 State St. The retailer operates 25 other stores in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Seattle and Chicago that sell, buy and trade clothing, shoes and accessories.

“We buy clothes if they are currently in style,” Brown said as a customer told her she will be back soon. “We’re looking for current contemporary clothes.”

The 2,720-square-foot State Street shop is in the storefront that was occupied by Russ’ Camera & Video for 27 years. After suffering sagging sales, Russ’ Camera closed its doors for good earlier this year and now operates an online store.

Crossroads Trading’s opening continues the trend of national clothing retailers setting up shop on State Street. The 17 retail leases completed on State Street in the first six months of 2010 include national clothing retailers such as Tilly’s, True Religion and G by Guess, according to Hayes Commercial Group officials, who represented the 1025 State St. building owner whet the Crossroad Trading lease was signing in June.

But the newest clothing store in town already has competition. The Closet, 920 State St., buys and resells clothing. It opened earlier this year.

A Bay Area native, Brown said about a half-dozen employees will work at the Santa Barbara Crossroads Trading store. She said college students are expected to be some of her best customers.

“It’s a great way to buy inexpensive clothes and sell what you don’t need,” she said.

Used clothing can be sold for on-the-spot cash or trade credit at Crossroads Trading stores. Shoppers may purchase used designer clothing at a fraction of its original retail price, Brown said. She said several customers sold clothes Saturday.

Crossroads stores also carry name brands, including Gap, Betsey Johnson and Gucci. However, the company prides itself on keeping old clothes out of landfills.

The company also extends its eco-friendly approach by offering customers the choice of skipping a shopping bag at their time of purchase and instead donating 5 cents to charity.

Crossroads Trading has been buying, selling and trading clothing since 1991. Brown said it has won 80 “Best-Of” awards and has been recognized for the quality of recycled merchandise it sells.

Crossroads Trading Co. is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Click here for more information about Crossroads Trading Co., or call 805.892.5700.

Noozhawk business writer Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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