Stung by competition from online apparel resale web sites such as TheRealReal and Thredup, and expenses related to brick-and-mortar retail that have become untenable amid softening sales, 2nd Time Around, a 35-year-old designer consignment chain, is closing 20 stores, nearly half of its 42-unit fleet.
Just three years ago, 2nd Time Around named Kristen Kohler Burrows as chief executive officer. Kohler Burrows had big plans for the resale chain, which sells apparel, handbags and accessories from contemporary, designer and luxury brands. The ceo talked about doubling the store count to 80, and stoking the e-commerce business. Burrows in 2015 revealed plans to add six to eight stores to the existing 10 units in Manhattan.
Now Kohler Burrows is out at 2nd Time Around. The company is led by marketing director Meghan Hanika and district manager Emerald Gravel.
The stores being shuttered are in Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. The 20 stores include three of the 11 units in Manhattan, at 1318 Madison Avenue at 93rd Street, 520 Third Avenue in Murray Hill and 2624 Broadway at 99th Street.
A 2nd Time Around store in Northampton, Mass., closing on Monday, told consignors that until their items are picked up — and as long as the store remains in operation — it will continue to attempt to sell their products. For sales after April 10, the store said it will ensure that consignors’ portion of the proceeds are processed.
A spokeswoman said that “2nd Time Around has spent four decades fostering a community of consignors and fashion lovers, making the buying and selling of pre-owned designer clothing a great experience for all involved. Ours is not just a group of shops but more a family of buyers and sellers with a passion for fashion and a fun retail experience. Because of a convergence of market forces hitting all brick-and-mortar stores, including increased competition from online retailers combined with skyrocketing rents, we are compelled to close a number of our stores. We share the disappointment that this news brings to our loyal and valued employees, consignors and customers.”
Items offered on 2nd Time Around are generally priced at 30 percent to 40 percent of their original retail price. Consignors get 40 percent of the final selling price. The retailer in 2015 hired Michael Tonello, a well-known Hermès authenticator, and said he would work with staff on a regular basis to authenticate pieces. However, TheRealReal went one step further, opening “white glove” authentication offices in Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and Washington.
The retailer 2nd Time Around sells Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Gucci, Chanel, Hermès, Burberry and Tom Ford, among others. The company never built out its e-commerce capabilities, and launched a 2TA app and sells via Instagram, which recently featured a small Gucci snakeskin handbag, originally $1,508, marked down to $331; a Michael Kors clutch, $395, reduced to $151, and Burberry quilted jacket, regularly $595, reduced to $183.