Resale Wonderland 2nd Street USA Opens More North Texas Locations | Dallas Observer


Japanese Company 2nd Street USA Brings a Wonderland of Affordable Resale Clothing to DFW

Resale retailer 2nd Street USA, from Japan, is now in Texas.
Resale retailer 2nd Street USA, from Japan, is now in Texas. Lisandro Quiroz
As fashionistas endlessly bookmark luxury pieces on resale treasure trove The RealReal, and TikTok influencers serve up the latest microtrends, 2023 is the ideal time for the opening of 2nd Street USA. The Japanese-based company is taking over the local resale market by offering something for every kind of shopper.

"In the last couple of years, secondhand has become so mainstream because of apps like Depop, Grailed, and Poshmark," says the company's trainer supervisor and spokesperson Brittany Gautier. "People are learning about what the value of their items are. Selling them only on their own doesn't always mean they're going to wait for that payout of slogging through the effort of packing, shipping and potentially have a return."

This is where 2nd Street finds its sweet spot. The concept had an inauspicious beginning as a small chain of resale DVD and CD stores in Japan. Founded in 1996, it expanded across the country into a chain of 700 branches encompassing "every type of secondhand shop," according to Gautier.

"The types of items they'd sell would include what they needed in the area as much as what was popular at the time," she says. "So, you could have an entire secondhand camping store. In the fashionable areas of Japan like Harajuku and Shibuya and some of the more popular areas of Kyoto, they'd sell clothing. But the problem was that secondhand wasn't a really popular concept in Japan until very recently."

Ultimately acquired by the Geo Corp., 2nd Street initially broke into the American market with a location in Torrance, California, selling used baby clothes and equipment. But with its access to resale pieces from Japanese cult brands such as Hysteric Glamour, Kapital and Needles, the company was poised to bring what worked in Japanese hipster neighborhoods to Americans craving affordable luxury fashion.

The company pivoted into selling only clothing and accessories to the American market with its 2018 Melrose Avenue boutique in Los Angeles. Locations in San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia and Portland soon followed, with 2nd Street’s first entry in Texas opening in Cedar Park, near Austin. 2nd Street Deep Ellum opened last year, and a 6,466-square-foot shop opened in January in Frisco. Another branch is about to appear on Greenville Avenue in March.

"One of our store format models is suburban [areas] like in Japan," Gautier says. "Having a lot of stores does require us to expand into smaller areas where there's a good opportunity for real estate. Either there's no construction needed or a fast turnaround for business permits. If the construction and timing are right, we're going to hit the ground running."
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2nd Street USA has the coolest brands and hopes to cool down the planet with its eco-friendly model.
Lisandro Quiroz
With so many shops, 2nd Street needs a LOT of stock, so they'll accept almost everything sellers are offering, which leads to a vast array of price points. Forty to 60 percent of the sales floor will be clothing and accessories that sell for $5 to $20, with the next tier of on-trend designer items priced competitively with eBay, Grailed or The RealReal. The condition of the item and where it sits in the microtrend landscape determines its worth, and an energetic shopper can find the likes of Commes des Garcon, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs in the mix alongside hypebeast brands like Fear of God, Off White and Supreme. If something sells well in a particular outlet, consumers will likely see more of it.

"We did have to give a lot of feedback to our product planning team," Gautier says. "When we get these shipments, we write notes and let the manager of product planning know we need bigger clothes or that leather shoes aren't going to be as popular as sneakers. We're trying to create that environment where we're getting feedback from the start of stores opening to find out from staff and managers what works and doesn't work."

Educating the customer and salespeople is a crucial step. 2nd Street's team committed to authenticity creates extensive manuals to assure that items are the real deal. Luxury pieces are authenticated by Entrupy, a company devoted to protecting buyers and sellers from counterfeit and fraudulent items.

"It's a detail-oriented procedure; the manual goes step by step, tag by tag, sometimes even inch by inch," Gautier says. "They'll get back to us in an hour or two hours depending on how common an item it is. For instance, they're able to authenticate a Louis Vuitton Speedy bag a lot faster than maybe one of the bags that Virgil Abloh [of Off White] has done. If for any reason, the customer doubts its authenticity, we're able to reassess and reprocess it."

Because over 15 million tons of clothing end up in landfills annually in the United States alone, 2nd Street keeps its eye on sustainability. With their policy of taking everything a seller offers on a sliding scale of payment (even "eco" items, which are bought for just one penny), 2nd Street can drive the sale of gently used clothing while reducing waste. The company even offers a recycling program called the Hand2Hand project, which donates all items unable to be sold to a partner company that will recycle the garment for industrial or charitable use.

As researchers from Berlin's Hot or Cool Institute recently revealed, a shopper should purchase only five new garments each year to stay in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming. 2nd Street might be the missing link that makes this goal realistic for even the most chronic shopaholic.

The late, great designer Vivienne Westwood's motto was, "Buy less, choose well, make it last." 2nd Street's could easily be, "Pay less, sell more, and keep your fashion moving."
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