What is Retail 101?

What’s the scoop on Retail 101? Well, folks often ask me this because I’m a designer/blogger and because I live nearby. Honestly, I can’t provide you with any official data on what Retail 101 is, but I’ve got plenty of firsthand experience with what they sell and what it’s like.

I believe that Retail 101 is a liquidator for retailers, especially Anthropologie. You’ve probably seen similar places all over TikTok or Instagram reels. It’s got two main sections: one for clothes and accessories, and another for furniture and home stuff. Personally, I’ve mostly been in it for the furniture, and there are some things you should know. 

I’m your friend who is helping you find the building. Here is is.
retail 101 sign
The only sign is inside the building. Good luck.

Don’t Get Lost

Finding this place is like a mini adventure. In Connecticut, you’ll find Retail 101 in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls. To figure out when they’re open and what they’ve got on offer, you gotta sign up for their email newsletter. Then comes the fun part: finding the actual building. Trust me, it’s like a game of hide and seek. But if you’re lucky like me and have a friend who knows the way, you’re golden.

The dining table selection is usually pretty good. I found a couple of live edge beauties that I wish I needed to buy because they were such great bargains.

The Great Indoors

Once you step inside, especially at the Naugatuck spot, it’s a giant warehouse. I usually make a beeline for the furniture section—it’s less overwhelming. But fair warning, if you happen to go on a week when they’re not selling furniture, that whole section might as well be under lockdown.

The Land of Misfit Furniture

If you are the type of furniture buyer that is intrigued by the unknown, then Retail 101 is for you. As I mentioned earlier, Retail 101 is a liquidator and liquidators usually sell discontinued, returned or slightly defective items so there is no regular inventory. Each time I go, the offerings are very different. The first time I went they had  a ton of upholstery, arm chairs in great condition and a huge variety of sofas. When I went last week the upholstery options were meager and needed TLC. I will always suggest that if you are going to buy upholstery that you budget in a professional steam clean. Some things just need a quick fix, while others might need a bit more TLC.


This Tambour console is a beauty, I could definitely live with the crack.

Unfortunately, there was no price.

Fool’s Gold?

But hey, there are some sweet deals to be had! They often stock pieces from Anthropologie collections like Tambour, Merriton, Sonali, and Hand Carved, albeit with a few flaws. I once snagged a desk that would’ve cost me an arm and a leg elsewhere, but at Retail 101, it was a bargain—even with a little nick in the corner. And let me tell you, getting it home was an adventure in itself! They also have those enormous mirrors that Anthropologie is well known for and retail for almost $1600, at Retail 101 they average about $480.

Grey anthropologie Merriton executive desk
Merriton Executive Desk, a steal at $199
anthropolgie Menara Bed white
Menara king size bed only 649.00
Nemus dining table for $699, no damage I could see
Anthropology hand carved white double-vanity
Hand carved double vanity only $99
The upholstery selection was sad but I did like this funky loveseat
Anthropologie mirror
These large mirrors were $479
anthropologie Petrichor Tapestry
I loved these large paper tapestries, there are a lot of possibilities. Frustratingly, no prices but I might go back to get one.
Journey Together Wall Art
Another great art find, this painting sells for $798 at Anthropologie but was only $159 at Retail 101
rattan room screen
I liked this screen and at $99 its a good deal.
lighting random
I’ve never found good lighting at Retail 101, but that doesn’t keep me from looking.
room screen hand carved
I loved the hand carved pieces from Anthropologie, I really wish I needed it.
I’ve never seen faux flowers at Retail 101, you just never know what you’re going to find.

So, is it worth the trip? 

As I mentioned, it’s pretty hit or miss. Will they have anything that you are looking for? No one knows. But if you like the thrill of the hunt, then yes, go!

There is a lot of damaged furniture. Almost everything has a ding or a scrape, and the prices reflect that as far as they are concerned. They do not discount on-site, so don’t go with the intention to haggle.

Not everything has a price on it. Most of the time, there is a sign nearby with some pricing but not always.

There may be a language barrier. The people that work the floor at Retail 101 are very nice, but not many of them speak English, so I recommend bringing a bilingual friend if you are the type of person that asks a lot of questions when shopping.

Retail 101 is like a quirky adventure. If you’re game, you might just find some hidden treasures and save a bundle. But be prepared for a rollercoaster ride of surprises!

Sign that says don't let children play in the bins
And, for heavens sake, don’t put your kids in the bins!


We Are
Hive Interior Studio
Shannon & Cheryl

Join us in our journey of creativity at Hive Interior Studio! We bring you a glimpse into the design world, from brainstorming new design concepts and creating 3D renderings, to exploring trends and other design news. Please stay, get comfortable and be inspired by our blog.

Share This Post!


Related Posts