MIRAMAR BEACH – 2e means second hand.
Mia Otillio, general manager of 2nd & Charles at Miramar Beach, said that although the company is an offshoot of Books-A-Million, the concept is very different. The bookstore has a redemption department that accepts exchanges of people for cash or store credit.
“This is how we get the majority of our stocks from people who trade things with us,” said Otillio. “We take anything from books to CDs, video games, comics, action figures, all kinds of collectibles – anything that qualifies as entertainment media. We are very different, mainly in the fact that we are mostly used rather than new.
2nd & Charles added 130 Scenic Gulf Drive, Miramar Beach, to its 47 locations in the US in November. It plans to open another 20 locations next year, Otillio said.
She worked for 2nd & Charles for eight years. The New Orleans native has been transferred from a store in Covington, Louisiana, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else.
“I really like the sense of community,” said Otillio. “I love the concept. I am really passionate about the product and everything we do.
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Like many of her clients, she too is an avid reader. Page turners for her are anything from the young adult, teenage fiction, horror, or sci-fi genres – especially anything Casey McQuiston or Neil Gaiman.
But Otillio admits that she is not a frequent trader; she likes to keep her books.
The Miramar Beach store is not typical of 2nd & Charles, Otillio said. At 8,000 square feet, it’s much smaller than the average size. Otillio took pleasure in organizing and promoting the merchandise because of it.
“We had tons of people come over and said, ‘Wow, this store is so big,’” said Otillio. “Even though it seems small to me, I’m happy that it looks big to everyone. “
The store is divided into four quadrants: young adult, graphic novels and science fiction; fiction; children’s books and non-fiction, with media in between. Children’s books have been the best-selling so far, said Otillio.
The location is ideal for people on vacation or lovers of the local beach. Otillio said she plans to create a reading section on the beach.
She thinks the store’s biggest draw is the price.
“We are much cheaper than traditional bookstores,” said Otillio. “People really like to get value. The other thing is the exchange. … People seem to really like what we’re doing here. Lots of people said they had never heard of us before but they are so glad we are in the area.