We’ve finally put up a new sign at 524 Smythe st to change the name of the store from Digital World to Evergreen Traders. Nothing is changing about the way we do business, just the name.

Digital World got its start back in 1994 selling only digital media: CDs, computer software and console game cartridges. The original idea behind the store was that digital content doesn’t wear out or change over time, therefore a used one is every bit as good as a new one.

Over the years, we gradually began adding a larger variety of products. At first it was computer and game console hardware to go with the software. Stereo equipment and other electronics soon followed. One day someone brought in a guitar, and a good friend who was working with me at the time said “hey, we can sell that!” So, we became a music store. The latest additions have been gold jewellery and luxury goods such as Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton handbags. Next, we’d like to see outdoor sporting goods, like kayaks and camping gear.

From day one we wanted everything to be tracked by computer. The only software available was made for pawn shops, so that’s what we got. One day a customer brought an item in and said they didn’t want to sell it; they just wanted a short-term loan. We didn’t understand the pawn business very well back then, but the software was capable of tracking it, and the customer really wanted it, so we wrote the pawn loan for them. Word got around despite us not advertising it at all, and the next thing you know, Digital World is a pawn shop.

Many customers still don’t think of Digital World as a pawn shop. I still hear stories of customers who will shop at Digital World but won’t go into Evergreen Traders because it’s a pawn shop. That’s the main reason that we’ve delayed the name change for so long. Pawn shops have long had a bad reputation, and unfortunately some have earned that reputation, but most modern shops (including ours!) are very different from what people expect. Our stores are bright and clean, our employees practice great customer service, our pricing is fair and transparent, and we guarantee everything we sell.

We chose the new name, Evergreen Traders, to represent the fact that we deal with a lot more than just digital media now. “Evergreen” because recycling preowned goods into the market is good for the environment. “Traders” because it’s still our favourite way to do business with customers. Getting rid of something you don’t use any more and picking up something you want just seems to make a lot of sense to us. Add in the fact that you can do it tax free and it’s a win all the way around!

Some people ask us why the tree in our logo doesn’t look like an evergreen tree. The logo is our connection to pawn shops. The top of the tree is formed from the traditional symbol for pawn shops, three hanging gold balls. This symbol dates back to the middle ages at a time when all “banks” were essentially pawn shops and hung that symbol outside their doors. Back then, there was no such thing as credit ratings, so if you wanted a loan from the bank, you had to leave behind an item of value as collateral. That’s what a pawn loan is. The most famous example is when Queen Isabella of Spain pawned her crown and jewels to help fund Christopher Columbus’ journey to the new world. (Given how that turned out for native North Americans, we’re not saying it’s a good example, just the most famous.)

What’s next? We’re excited to announce that very soon we will be offering in-house jewellery repair. We’ve been testing out some consignment options and will be offering that service on more and more goods in the future. Our southside store is quickly becoming Fredericton’s go-to spot for coins and bullion. We have equipment on order so the northside location can offer those services as well. Online sales are becoming more popular with many customers choosing to buy online and pickup in-store.

So don’t be alarmed if you give us a call and we answer “Evergreen South” instead of “Digital World”. It’s the same great people, same great service. Hope to see you soon!