Years ago, at our store in the Chestnut Hill Village outside of Boston, we noticed an odd phenomenon. Shoppers would slip into the store acting like fugitives on the run. Hiding behind dark sunglasses, they would browse the aisles furtively. On the rare occasions they had a question, they’d sidle up to the counter and mumble in a low tone.
Stealth shopping: it was a real thing back then in that wealthy, status-conscious neighborhood.
We didn’t understand it until one day when a customer was arranging delivery of a stunning nearly-new brand-name dining set she’d just purchased. “You don’t have your name on the truck, do you?” she asked. Yes, our manager assured her proudly. FCG’s trucks were hard to miss with our bold royal-blue logo.
She looked flustered. “Don’t you have a truck that doesn’t have your name on it?” she asked. Suddenly, our manager realized the problem. She didn’t want anyone to know that she’d bought consignment furniture. What would the neighbors say? Would they think she and her husband were in, gasp, financial trouble?
Well, those days are gone. (And so is our store in Chestnut Hill; we closed it a few years ago to open a far larger store in Natick.) According to no less an authority than the Wall Street Journal, buying second-hand goods is not only acceptable, it is a point of pride among millennials.
Covid hastened the trend. The pandemic snarled the once streamlined supply chain. Buyers are waiting weeks if not months for certain items, especially furniture. Mercari, a global e-commerce company, just announced the results of a recent survey: 77% of holiday shoppers bought at least one secondhand item this season.
Finally, the rest of the world is discovering what our loyal customers have always known. When you shop at FCG, you get quality, value, and immediate gratification. So drop your disguise, relax and shop one or all of our three well-stocked stores.
You’ll be in good company. Boston’s savviest shoppers are regulars at FCG. And when our delivery truck pulls into your driveway, your neighbors won’t think you’re a penny-pincher. They’ll be clamoring to see what kind of a great deal you scored.