Northern Frenchy’s opens for business

Duane Hicks

People love to buy clothes at a bargain price and Northern Frenchy’s Quality Used Clothing, a new business catering to that market, opened its doors here Saturday morning at its 1533 King’s Highway location.
Owner Karen Melanson, who moved here from the Maritimes a year-and-a-half ago with her husband, Leo, said used clothing stores are very popular in New Brunswick and felt it could be a hit in Fort Frances, too.
“Everybody likes some of the ones you see in bigger cities, and this is something we felt the community could use, or hoped it could, so we decided to give it a shot,” she explained, adding the name “Northern Frenchy’s” is an homage to the numerous “Frenchy’s” used clothing stores in the Maritimes.
While it’s possible with the current economy that more people than usual may be looking for quality used clothing, Melanson said these stores in the Maritimes are busy “even when economic times are really good—we find that everybody likes a bargain.”
“It almost becomes a social event,” she added. “It’s fun to come and see what you can find, what kind of great deals you can find.”
Melanson said she gets her product imported from outside the country.
“The suppliers that I use, the funds I get when I buy my stock from them, goes to vocational training for handicapped people,” she noted. “It’s one of the things I try to do is give back to the community, even if it’s not directly here.
“Everything I have here has probably been donated, whether it’s been donated by people or donated by commercial businesses.
“You’ll find some of the products are still in the packages, some of them have tags on them. But we don’t see it as new, we sell it as a used product,” she stressed. “I can’t promise that it hasn’t been worn by someone, that’s not what we’re aiming for.
“But there’s some great deals to be had if you want to take the time to find them.”
Northern Frenchy’s sells children’s, men’s, and women’s clothing. Melanson said she has a very large supply of clothing right now and is putting new stock out every day so customers can expect to see some different clothing whenever they drop by.
Melanson noted she is not accepting clothing donations, and stressed she is not trying to compete with the Salvation Army.
“They do a great job and we are not trying to take away from them,” she vowed.
Northern Frenchy’s is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.