Upscale Overstock, new store in Medina, adapts during the pandemic

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2020 at 4:54 pm

Business’s top seller: handmade masks, many with superhero themes

Photo by Tom Rivers: Lynn Palmer is pictured inside Upscale Overstock at 339 North Main St. She opened the business on Nov. 29 and sells general merchandise and customized handmade items.

MEDINA – Lynn Palmer launched a new business on Nov. 29. Upscale Overstock sells general merchandise that was often in the big box stores.

When those stores looked to change merchandise and shift to a new season, overstock stores like Palmer’s often acquire the items. They are still new, but haven’t been used.

She tends to receive a shipment each week with one or two pallets of overstock items. Children’s clothing has been popular. She has clothes with popular characters from Disney, Minecraft, Super Mario, Frozen, Toy Story, Harry Potter and DC comics. She also has clothing and merchandise with NFL teams, including the Buffalo Bills.

“These are all brand new,” Palmer said at the store, which is at 339 North Main St. “This is not a thrift shop. None of this came from someone’s house.”

The store also sells toys, housewares, bed and bath products, and pillows, blankets and sheets.

Provided photo: These masks made by Lynn Palmer’s daughter, Samantha, have been popular, especially with parents and grandparents looking to buy face coverings for children.

The store got off to a good start, opening during the holiday season late last year. But the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Palmer was able to stay open, but was in the store by herself. She promoted items through the Upscale Overstock Facebook page. Customers could also peak through a front window, that opened for Palmer to hand off the purchases.

“That hurt us big time because people want to come in and look around,” she said.

The store is now fully open to customers (except they can’t try on the clothing). They need to wear masks, and maintain social distancing. Palmer has hand sanitizer for them.

Palmer, 50, worked in childcare for 30 years before starting the store. She also worked at Walmart. That is where she realized stores rotate out products and merchandise removed from the shelves can be sold by overstock businesses.

She took a 10-week small business class through the Orleans Economic Development Agency to prepare for launching her business. She liked the location on Main Street, including the building where she is based. Down the hall from her is a candy store, Mandeos Candy Shoppe, and Mystic Dragon’s Lair, which sells quartz, gemstones, crystals and other products.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on April 15 issued an executive order, requiring masks to be worn in public when social distancing isn’t possible.

Palmer’s daughter Samantha started making masks. Upscale Overstock has sold more than 500 of those masks.

“This has kept us alive during the pandemic,” Palmer said.

Her daughter also makes string art creations, paints signs on canvasses and also sells home-made scrunchies for hair.

“They’re all one-of-a-kind,” Palmer said.

She said business and traffic have been picking up this summer.

“People are definitely out more,” she said. “There are some people who dock their boats and go up and down Main Street. Medina is a unique little town.”

Upscale Overstock is open every day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends.

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