While something new and something used are items usually associated with weddings, a new store bearing those words in Susupe is not a bridal shop.
New & Used, located across Kanoa Resort in the same building where Winchell’s Donuts is, opened last Tuesday and its owner, Li Chen, said the store’s original concept was to sell items residents leaving the island for good are not bringing with them.
“First, due to the global spread of the coronavirus, many people have been forced to leave the islands, leaving a lot of things behind. We hope to collect those items and sell them,” said the former tour agent.
That’s the used part. As far as the new part, Chen said New & Used wants to offer products not readily available on Saipan for the benefit of customers.
“There are a lot of novel products abroad and there are none of those on the island. We also hope to sell those products here,” he said.
When asked why he’s opening up a business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 49-year-old from Guangzhou, China said he’s waited long enough to start a business and, COVID-19 or not, the time is now ripe to open New & Used.
“Because the epidemic has been more than a year, we still don’t know when it will end. I hope the opening of this shop will help signal the beginning of the economic recovery of the island,” he said.
Currently, New & Used is full to the bream with new and used furniture like beds, cabinets, housewares, inflatables, children’s toys, remote control cars, bikes, skateboards, food containers, light bulbs that automatically switch on in the dark, and household items.
Chen also assured that unlike other stores on island, New & Used will consider the crisis enveloping the CNMI right now and will keep prices down. “Our prices are very reasonable, so we don’t plan to set up regular promotions,” he said.
Future plans include converting the former Shark’s Fin Restaurant in the same building into a full repository of secondhand items that people leaving island will drop off and New & Used will ultimately sell. At that point, Chen’s New & Used will be retailing exclusively new items with the other store selling used stuff.
Chen said those wanting to sell their old stuff can still do so. They only need to bring the items to New & Used and he and his staff will assess its value. After that, he and the seller would have to negotiate a price.
New & Used is open from Monday to Friday, 10am-8pm, and Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 7pm. For more information, call Chen at 287-9828.