Planet Princeton

Thanks to Store Manager, Nearly New Shop Will Continue Its 68-Year Presence in Downtown Princeton

The new owner of the Nearly New Shop, Moira Mittnacht, arranges clothing at the store Monday.

Coming in September, a New Nearly New Store

Moira Mittnacht couldn’t bear to see the Nearly New Shop that has served downtown Princeton  since World War II close.

Churches and other groups looked into the possibility of running the clothing store. But Mittnacht, the store manager, nervously watched as potential tenants looked at the space above Redding Plumbing on Nassau Street, and she decided there was only one thing left to do.

She took the store over from Princeton Day School herself.

“I’m really excited,” Mittnacht said of her new venture. “I’m also a little terrified sometimes.”

Mittnacht has plenty of experience though, having run the store for a dozen years. She first served as a volunteer when her two boys attended Princeton Day School.

School officials decided this spring to close the store that has been open since 1944, citing finances, and there was an outcry from loyal patrons. The Nearly New Shop offers quality gently-used clothing  and small household items at bargain basement prices, and many families and students depend on the store to make ends meet.

“It’s a clean, friendly environment where everyone is welcome and you can buy a sweater for a few dollars and a t-shirt for $1,” Mittnacht said. “We also have higher end items donated by people in the community too.”

Right now, most of the racks at the Nearly New Shop are empty. Monday was bag sale day, and customers practically cleaned the store out.

“There was a line at the door before we even opened,” Mittnacht said.

Mittnacht negotiated a lease with Redding Plumbing. The store will be closed while Mittnacht cleans, decorates and reorganizes the space. The grand re-opening of the new Nearly New Shop will be Sept. 4, the day after Labor Day.

Mittnacht is considering extending store hours until 6 or 7 so that customers who work during the day can stop in after work. People will also be able to sell things on consignment, though she expects the vast majority of clothing she receives will still be donations. Princeton Day School will still serve as a source for donations.

“This is a nice big space,” she says as she scans the nearly empty room after the bag sale. Then she spots a brown Ellen Tracy blouse on a hanger.

“I can’t believe it. Look how cute that is,” she says. “Someone will love this!”

To make a clothing donation before Sept. 4, call (609) 924-5720 to schedule a drop-off time. Beginning Sept. 4 you can drop clothes off Mon.-Fri. , 11-6, and Saturdays 10-5..

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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