Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Family-run Snag a Deal brings wholesale savings to new shop in Lightfoot

Snag a Deal has celebrated its grand re-opening in the Pavilion Shops, bringing its collection of clothing, jewelry, footwear and bathing suits into a larger space in Lightfoot.

The family-owned discount fashion retailer moved just six doors down in March, from a spot where it had operated for the past two years.

Related: Lightfoot Lidl proposal tabled, church to remain on site

It was a family effort to make the move, and five generations of the Parsons family pitch in to keep the business running.

“Whenever we need help, we call the family,” said owner Barbara Parsons, 68. “Whenever we run out of family, that’s when we’ll be in trouble.”

Fortunately for Parsons, she has plenty of family members to lean on, beginning with her daughter and co-owner, Stephanie Stark. The pair run day-to-day operations, with a lot of help from their relatives.

“We have differences of opinion, but we end up working it out, we end up compromising,” Stark said.

“People just like it because it’s a treasure hunt kind of a place.”

Their husbands, Ed Parsons and Mike Stark, play the parts of consultant, handyman, truck driver and interior designer.

“I just do whatever they need,” Ed Parsons said, with a grin. “Sometimes I like to think I’m in charge.”

Stark’s two teenage sons, as well as her nieces and nephews, helped push clothing racks from the old space to the new store. The Parsons’ 10-year-old great-granddaughter Mary Jane helped move merchandise, too.

Even Barbara Parsons’ parents and Ed’s mother, all of whom are older than 90, pitch in to help sort deliveries.

The whole family often gets together on “sorting days,” Parsons said, after a delivery truck arrives. The children are typically given pizza for their efforts.

“When we get our new inventory in, it’s a lot of fun,” Stark said, adding that there are bonuses for helping the family business.

“If they help us sort, they can keep what they want,” she said.

The inventory they buy comes in by the pound — or rather, by the thousands of pounds.

Parsons and Stark bid on overstocked and discontinued clothing in manufacturer auctions in Atlanta; the items are then loaded onto a moving truck and shipped to Williamsburg. By buying clothes by the ton, they’re able to sell their new inventory at a 50 percent or more discount.

Barbara Parsons said the business is similar to one of their favorite TV shows, “Storage Wars,” in which people place blind bids on the contents of storage lockers.

Much like in the show, Parsons and Stark aren’t sure what they’ll actually buy with a winning bid. Sometimes they take home men’s clothes, and other times women’s clothes.  Some hauls give them summer clothing, and others are mostly of winter gear. All sizes and colors are possible.

“We have no idea what we’re going to get,” Parsons said. “We bring it in and sort by season and all the other categories and put it up for sale.”

Sorting days are one of the most active days for the business, and they each serve as a sort of family reunion – one that resembles a holiday.

“We have a lot of fun and laughs,” Parsons said. “It’s like Christmas. You’re opening packages and you don’t know what’s inside.”

Once the haul is unwrapped and sorted, it’s placed on shelves, where customers can shop for products that — because they were discontinued — Parsons said might not be found anywhere else.

“People just like it because it’s a treasure hunt kind of a place,” said Barbara Parsons. “You can’t come in looking for something specific, you come in and see what you can find.”

[Editor’s note: Due to an editing error, the subtitle of the article has been updated to reflect the spelling of the Parsons family’s last name.]

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