New concepts take hold downtown

NEW BEDFORD — With a creative economy on the upswing, it seems every month there is a new business opening in one of downtown’s old storefronts. And just one month ago, New Bedford welcomed one of its newest retail ventures to downtown — 767 Exchange.
The store’s owners, Fairhaven residents Andy Perrone and Charli Aubin, said opening a clothing and accessories exchange store has been something they always talked about. The timing was right when they discovered an available space downtown, and so far their experience in the area has been positive.
“Being downtown, it’s a community,” Aubin said. “We’ve gotten to know so many other business owners here and the arts and music scene downtown is also a major part of our store.
“We display local artists’ work here, and every week we feature an artist of the week and promote a local band,” Aubin said. “We sell clothing and accessories here, but we try to give artists of all kinds an outlet here, too.”
The store specializes in clothing and related accessories, much of it newer but with some vintage items. As an exchange, it is unlike a consignment shop in that customers who bring in clothes to sell are paid on the spot instead of after their items have sold.
Aubin described herself as very selective when it comes to accepting clothing in an exchange, saying she wants only the best for 767 Exchange.
Since opening on AHA! Night on May 10 — an ideal time to start, said Aubin and Perrone, given the bustle of bands playing and events downtown — the store has been busy.
“It’s been better than we expected,” Perrone said. “We’ve been busy, and part of it is that the local music and art downtown create a buzz, and that helps.”
And Perrone said it is also important in a place like downtown New Bedford to have businesses band together in order to help one another.
“You have to support local, shop local, and just promote local,” Perrone said. “Our friend Joel Monty, an artist, did our store sign outside, for example,” he added, noting that 767 Exchange partnered with neighbors such as the Pour Farm and No Problemo to sponsor a band’s show downtown.
“Just the other day, we were talking with Tess, the owner of For Veda next door, about coordinating our store hours,” Aubin said. “The community has been very receptive, and our first month has been awesome.”
With an increasing number of business owners (and consumers) seeing downtown New Bedford as an artistic and desirable destination that is up-and-coming, Aubin and Perrone are hopeful about the area’s future as a retail magnet.
“We’re trying to give downtown a shot in the arm,” Perrone said. “With businesses really cross-promoting one another, we can do that.”
The store, located at 767 Purchase St., is open from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays and usually remains open until after 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. For details on the store’s hours of operation or more information, call 767 Exchange at 508-404-5527 or “like”it on Facebook at
June 17, 2012 12:00 AM
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