01/12/12 — New business set to open late January

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New business set to open late January

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on January 12, 2012 1:46 PM

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John Blouin of Conscientious Construction lays the tile floor of Trade It! in its new location on Ash Street. The store, which will be open in the next month, will be in the old Hollywood Video location. The company will employ about 25 people.

A Wilson-based retailer is opening up a store on the 2500 block of East Ash Street in the former Hollywood Video building.

Trade It!, a goods store specializing in buying, selling and trading consumer electronics, sporting goods and more, will open up its eighth location in Goldsboro later this month, after renovating the space to match its other stores.

Fred George, chief executive officer and founder of the company, said his chain of retailers is not in the pawn business, although some people confuse his stores for pawn shops.

"We're strictly retail," he said.

Pawn shops make most of their money off of loans and firearms, he points out, while Trade It! purchases products from sellers and sells them to others, more similar to a Play It Again Sports.

George said his stores typically pay better than pawn brokers and usually retail goods at 50 percent savings.

The stores don't retail in firearms, books or clothing, he said, simply because there are other stores that do it better.

George said he would like for his store to fill the void for secondhand electronics and sporting goods he feels exists in Goldsboro.

"Goldsboro is underserved for retail," he said. "We have been trying to get in Goldsboro for about three years. We think it's a great market, and it's close to our base of operations. We love the military -- it's a great demographic for us."

George, who grew up in Elizabeth City, said he purchased a failing secondhand retail store in Fayetteville about six years ago and turned it around, with the result being a collection of stores across the state, with all of the stores pumping money directly into the local economies.

"About 75 cents of every dollar goes to the local community," he explained, as the payment out and salary to his employees all goes to locals, compared to larger retailers where payments in some cases go to out-of-country manufacturers. "We paid out more than $1 million in our first year in Greenville."

Besides that, George said he refuses to allow his stores to become fences for selling stolen goods and each store uploads every purchase to local law enforcement daily to prevent the sale of stolen goods.