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Everything to Know About Retail 101: Photos, Video, Location and More

Have you heard about Retail 101? If you live in or near Connecticut, and enjoy furniture or fashion, then you pretty much need to check it out.

Retail 101 is a company that operates a large warehouse-like sale each week, selling deeply discounted designer/name brand clothing and furniture, mostly floor samples, returns, and overstock from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Nuuly, all of which are owned by Urban Outfitters. It’s basically Connecticut’s Urban Outfitters & Anthropologie Outlet.

The sale has moved locations a few times, so it’s a good idea to keep regular tabs on the Retail 101 website before you make plans to visit. Until early March 2023, the clothing sale was held in Naugatuck, and the furniture sale was held in Beacon Falls. But currently, both the furniture and clothing sales are held at the Naugatuck location, at 6 Rubber Avenue, with an occasional dented/dinged furniture sale in Beacon Falls.

Retail 101 has gained a pretty major following, thanks largely to TikTok and Instagram. I personally think it’s worth the hype.

Because there isn’t a whole lot of information on the sale online, outside of social media, and Retail 101 doesn’t do much of its own social media, I’ve put together an FAQ guide and shared some of my photos and video from Retail 101, below.

@kaitmadden

This place is my home now. Stopped by today and left with two light fixtures, but I plan to go back every weekend until forever. #retail101 #retail101beaconfalls #anthropologiedupe #anthrohome #primrosemirror

♬ Funk Rave – Don´t Let Me Down 140 Bpm – kirtap

Is Retail 101 worth the hype?

I first heard about Retail 101 on Instagram on a Sunday morning (it’s also gone viral on TikTok), and I was literally at the warehouse in Beacon Falls about two hours later. Even though I had an idea of what to expect based on what I’d seen on Instagram, I was actually blown away by the offerings at Retail 101 and all the cute and cheap decor and furniture I saw.

(Side note: I was also not totally surprised to find out about Retail 101. As a Connecticut resident and frequent Facebook Marketplace shopper, I was always wondering why there were so many people selling their Anthropologie Evening Primrose Mirrors and brand-new Anthropologie Fern Cabinets for half price. I even Googled Anthropologie warehouse in CT a whole bunch of times to try and figure out what was going on. Now we know.).

I’ve been back to Retail 101 about a half dozen more times since I first found out about it. Lucky for me, my mom lives right down the street from the sale, so I swing by often after I visit her :).

I’m generally more excited about the furniture section than the clothing, but that’s just because I’m more interested in design than fashion in my elder millennial years. The clothing also tends to skew a little younger. I’m in my late-30s, and I’d say most of the clothing is geared toward early 20-somethings. However, I have found some cute maxi dresses, and it looks like it’d be a great place to find sweaters and outerwear in the winter.

What does Retail 101 sell?

As I mentioned, Retail 101 sells new and overstock furniture, decor and clothing from Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, etc.

Both the furniture and clothing are new and deeply discounted (around 70-80% off). The clothing generally costs $5-$25, while the furniture and decor starts at around $49 and go up to $500-ish, depending on the item. As far as furniture goes, there is everything from dining tables, to area rugs, to designer lighting and decor.

Retail 101 Furniture

The furniture discounts at this place are nuts.

In the times I’ve been to Retail 101, I’ve seen there were light fixtures I’ve seen online and at other retailers for thousands of dollars selling for just a few hundred, brand new dining tables for $300, and Anthropologie’s famed (and expensive) Primrose mirror, for just $179. You could probably furnish you entire house from this place, all with high-quality furniture, but for IKEA prices.

When I got there I was literally like a kid in a candy store. The first time, I left with two light fixtures, one for my bedroom, and one for above my kitchen sink, and I’ve since bought a mirror, some bathroom accessories, and a lamp.

The light fixture I bought for my bedroom, an Arteriors chandelier, was $289, and it sells online for $1400. (The great thing about the furniture warehouse is that a lot of Anthropologie’s furniture, especially the lighting, is actually from high-end designer brands).

Here’s the chandelier in my bedroom

Here’s an overview of what kind of items you’ll find there:

Furniture you’ll find at Retail 101

  • Sofas, velvet sofas, sectional sofas and sectional sofa pieces, chesterfield sofas, and settees/chaises
  • Arm chairs in various colors and sizes, and slipper chairs
  • Coffee tables, including from the Amber Lewis collection, lacquered coffee tables, round coffee tables, rectangle coffee tables (All the shapes) and leather, boucle, and velvet ottomans
  • Side tables and nightstands
  • Dining tables and dining chairs, in all sizes
  • Lots of windowed hutches and cabinets, like the popular Arch cabinet
  • Dressers and sideboards, including cane dressers, wood dressers, and lacquered dressers, in all sorts of colors
  • Desks, console tables
  • Beds
  • Lighting, including chandeliers, pendants, sconces, floor lamps and table lamps.
  • There were also some random things here and there, like small amounts of wallpaper, wall art, and some French daybed cushions

If you’re wondering about pricing for certain items, here’s what I gathered from my visit:

Retail 101 Furniture Prices

  • Sofas: $300-$1000, depending on style and size
  • Dressers & consoles: $200-$400
  • Lighting: $49-$300
  • Mirrors: $100-$400
  • Nightstands: $99-$199
  • Dining tables: $299 – $499
  • Dining chairs: $99 – $149
  • Ottomans/coffee tables: $99-$399
  • Art: $49-$199

I feel like I should also note that all of the furniture is new, too. According to the Retail 101 website, it’s mostly returns, or slightly damaged merchandise (I saw a few Evening Primrose mirrors with small nicks in the frame, for example, but still in excellent condition). I’m sure a lot of the furniture items are also floor models that the stores no longer need, or discontinued items.

Overall, my only concern about this place is that I feel like I’m going to have to go back there every weekend. to see what’s new. It’s already on my list of my favorite local spots to shop for my home when I’m on a budget (along with Monger’s Market, Kathalow Warehouse Treasures, and the best flea markets in CT)

Retail 101 Clothing

The majority of the clothing and shoes are what you’d find at Urban Outfitters. There’s a lot of stuff that looks like you could wear it to a music festival, with some basics/more classic pieces mixed in.

However! The inventory changes a lot from week-to-week, so what you find will really depend on when you go.

All of the clothes are new, or in like-new condition. I did notice that a few of the piece looked like they were once Nuuly rentals because they had a sticker bar code on the tag. If you’re not familiar with Nuuly, it’s a monthly clothing rental service owned by Anthropologie. I’ve subscribed to Nuuly here and there, which is why I noticed the bar codes. But, those clothes are still in good condition, and I actually bought a former Nuuly dress that looked brand new.

If you’re going to Retail 101 for the clothing, bring your patience. The clothes are piled in boxes that are sitting on tables, and things are roughly categorized by item type and size, but they tend to get mixed up easily (especially the sizes).

You’ll also want to wear something that you can easily layer clothes over when you’re trying them on, because the dressing rooms are very makeshift and not very private.

Clothing You’ll Find at Retail 101

As far as the clothing sale, it’s hard to say exactly what they have at any given time because inventory changes each week.

Basically, any type of clothing item you’re looking for, they probably have. Think:

  • Shoes
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Tops
  • Sweaters
  • Activewear
  • Jackets
  • Outerwear
  • Casual dresses – short and long
  • Some cocktail dresses/formal dresses, but they usually get special shipments for these, so you won’t find them every week
  • Swimwear
  • Accessories like purses, sunglasses and belts
  • Undergarments

Also important to note: 90% of the sale is typically women’s clothing, with a few men’s items mixed in here and there.

Retail 101 hours

Retail 101 hours vary from week-to-week.

It’s generally open from Tuesday or Wednesday through Saturday from 10am-8pm, and Sunday from 10am-6pm. Occasionally, it’s open on Monday, and other times it’s only open Thursday-Sunday, but it just depends on the week.

Also important to note, the clothing and furniture sales sometimes have different hours, so again, it’s a good idea to check the website or sign up for their weekly email.

This is why you NEED to check the weekly hours before making your trek if you don’t want to waste your time. The company updates its website weekly with new hours, so it’s important to check before you go.

The best way to make sure you know when Retail 101 is open is to sign up for their weekly email. They send an email with sale hours at the beginning of each week.

Retail 101 Tips & Things to know before you go

There are a few things to know before you visit Retail 101.

  • First: Yes, you’re in the right place. The warehouse is old. Like, I grew up in Naugatuck and the building it’s in was closed for my entire childhood. And my childhood started in the ’80s. Just go in.
  • Second, they accept cash and all major credit cards, which is good.
  • However, there are no returns or exchanges, so you’ll want to be sure about your purchases. If you’re looking for something for a specific spot in your home, i.e. a dining table or coffee table, it’s a good idea to take measurements before you leave your house, and bring your tape measure with you.
  • The store does not deliver, but they do offer an on-site third-party delivery service.
  • Retail 101 will generally hold items for a few days/until the following weekend so long as you’ve paid for them. They will not hold items that haven’t been paid for.
  • They do not negotiate prices, and are strict about people removing price tags from items.
  • There are also lots of resellers that shop at Retail 101, especially for furniture, so if you want the best selection, go the first day of the week they open.

Stores like Retail 101

If you’re looking for stores like Retail 101 that sell overstock items, returns or floor samples from major retailers, check out your local bin store.

Bin stores usually sell merchandise from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Kohl’s, etc. that’s been returned/is open box, or is just simply overstock. There are bin stores in basically every state, including CT.

Two of my favorite bin stores in Connecticut are Kathalow Warehouse Treasures in Bethel and GNC Liquidations in Milford. Kathalow primarily sells Amazon returns, while GNC is largely a Target liquidation warehouse.

Is there an Anthropologie Outlet in CT?

If you’re wondering if Retail 101 is an official Anthropologie outlet in CT, it’s not. It might as well be an Anthropologie outlet, since it primarily sells furniture, decor and clothing from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters (Anthro’s parent company), and Nuuly, (the UO-owned clothing rental service), but it’s not an official Anthropologie outlet. That’s outside of the company’s headquarters in Pennsylvania.

Happy shopping!