‘2nd Time Around’ Consignment Shops Out of Business, Chaos Ensues
2nd Time Around won’t get another. The national consignment chain abruptly shuttered all its stores this week, citing online competition as the main cause.
Closer to home, the two-year-old outpost on East Houston Street (at Mott) harbored plenty of drama in the last several days. The store itself has been closed for about a month, with only a sign in the front door pointing customers to a different location. Then, this past Wednesday, after a week under padlock (and key), a plethora of eviction notices appeared on the windows.
The landlord didn’t mince words, either. “Please be advised that 2nd Time Around has been evicted,” one sign reads. “The Department of Consumer Affairs will be handling the return of all items in the store. You may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Apparently, consignors faced issues collecting payment from 2nd Time Around toward the end. According to a long-read in Racked:
Irate consignors have since taken to Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and Instagram with complaints about months-overdue checks for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, accusations of fraud and breach of contract, and threats of legal action. The situation in stores is no better — except that rather than a faceless digital handle or social-media feed bearing the brunt of the frustration, it’s employees that are on the front lines. Unable to get answers about the whereabout of their checks or property, angry consignors have trashed signage, hurled verbal abuse, and grabbed merchandise from the shelves as compensation, say employees.
Lily, a former store manager, quit about a month ago after a consignor who was owed money spit at her in a rage — though she says the final straw was the lack of support or information that management offered to deal with the increasingly tense work environment. In April, the company, which at its peak operated 40 stores nationwide, announced that 10 were closing, including locations in Miami, Florida; West Hartford, Connecticut; and Evanston, Illinois. While employees grew increasingly worried about the security of their stores, she says, “if you asked questions, it was met with a lot of hostility… all communication was just kind of shut down.”
Meanwhile, to help in the retrieval of goods from 53 East Houston, the DCA has arranged three days (June 14-16) next week for consignor pickup. Proof of consignment and photo I.D. is required.
Here’s the lesson. This spot, in particular, should’ve just remained as it was – a bodega that served the community well. The popular La Cocina Deli closed in December 2011. Shortly after the space was boarded up, angry patrons similarly scrawled their thoughts on the plywood for months.