Lower East Side Vintage and Thrift on the Outs?

Posted on: August 2nd, 2010 at 6:27 am by

Discourse about the death of thrift shops and vintage stores is back on the table. An article published over at Crain’s this weekend, dubbed Vintage Stores out of Fashion, profiles a few recent neighborhood closures, including the loss of The Sweet Ones on Allen in June. Many in the industry are not only blaming the recession but Ebay and Etsy, the online vintage marketplace.

On Sweet Ones:

In June, Alyssa Pallett shut down her dream business—an 1,100-square-foot vintage designer-clothing store on the Lower East Side’s Allen Street—after less than 10 months of operation.

Ms. Pallett of Sweet Ones was having trouble breaking even and ended up for-feiting her $25,000 five-month deposit when she closed up shop in June. She, too, expects the vintage market to move online, with physical stores acting more like small showrooms.

On Marmalade:

High rents forced the Lower East Side’s Marmalade to concede defeat earlier last month. Ms. Kurland had been paying nearly $4,000 a month for her 1,500-square-foot shop, but in 2009 the rent doubled, thanks to the high-end residential developments under construction on her block. As sales fell 40% as a result of frugal shoppers, Ms. Kurland was forced to put up “Closing Sale” signs in the windows of her 11-year-old shop.

On Etsy:

“The prices on Etsy kill me,” says Ms. Weiss [of Beauty Crisis], referring to competition from the Brooklyn-based online marketplace that has taken the retail world by storm during its five-year existence. “It started as handmade, but now there are over 100,000 vintage items listed there.”

Recent Stories

LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is Happening this Weekend

The 6th Annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is happening this weekend, and promises plenty of local entertainment and creative craftsmanship throughout more than 50 community gardens spread across Lower Manhattan. Just a few of the many highlights partaking in this year’s festival include fairy tale puppetry by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, a thought provoking look […]

Cafe Grumpy Reclaims Adjacent Store at 13 Essex Street for ‘Training Lab’

With Factory Tamal now up and running on Ludlow Street, its former location is back in the hands of its maker, so to speak. Cafe Grumpy just reclaimed the other half of its Essex Street coffee shop. We are told that the south store of 13 Essex Street – formerly the cafe’s on-premise bakery – […]

In What was American Apparel, ‘Dr Smood’ Health Eatery Debuts on East Houston

The doctor is now seeing patients. Customers, rather. Dr Smood, the health eatery that offers “smart food for a good mood,” opened the doors to its Lower East Side location this week. As you might expect, the new “organic boutique cafe” at the corner of Orchard and East Houston Streets carries with it an antiseptic […]

Another Look at the 7-Story Rental to Destroy 200-Year-Old Federal Row Houses on Grand Street

A row of historically significant Grand Street buildings is one step closer to demolition. Applications were filed with the city last week to erect the seven-story residential structure at 282-286 Grand Street. We first broke news of this development back in April. The property owner – former oncologist-cum-art dealer Marc Straus – has major plans […]

Sampling the Lost Cuisine Found in ‘The German Jewish Cookbook’

In our current food-obsessed culture – especially in places like New York City – it seems that we are global food citizens. We have easy access to an endless variety of restaurants and specialty food stores, which enable us to explore foods from all over the world. And we can easily watch a multitude of […]