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Buffalo Exchange Has Closed Its Last Consignment Shop in the DC Region

The closure comes at a time when retail sales are suffering during the pandemic.

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The once-popular vintage and used clothing store Buffalo Exchange has closed its 14th Street, Northwest location, according to the group’s website and a PoPVille post. The spot opened in 2012, and was the chain’s only remaining store in the Washington area (there was previously a Georgetown location, too).

The Tucson-based Buffalo Exchange, which has over 30 locations across the country, allows customers to consign their used and vintage clothing, then in turn sells it to shoppers. It had a more vintage feel than other consignment shops in the area, some of which typically accept only designer goods.

While the pandemic has benefited the inventory side of the secondhand business—folks are spending more time at home, which means more closet clean-outs—in-person sales at consignment shops have suffered, according to a New York Times article. Not only are people shopping less for clothes these days, says the article, they may be less likely to shop at a store in-person, often a crucial part of picking out vintage or used items.

Despite that, the reluctance to enter a physical store has given a boost to already thriving thrift sites such as Poshmark or Thredup, an industry expected to be worth $70 million by 2027 in the US, says the article. Instead of going to a store to sell or browse secondhand clothing, you can do it all from home.

While several consignment stores such as Secondi or Current Boutique are still open in the DC area, Buffalo isn’t the only spot to have recently shuttered its doors: Crossroads Trading, also on 14th Street, closed at the end of 2019.

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.

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