2nd Street USA: A Thrift and Consignment Sensation


Consignment designer bags on display for sale at 2nd Street USA in Costa Mesa, California. Photography by: Elise Bitgood

Elise Bitgood , Staff

2nd Street is an upscale thrift and consignment store with locations all over the United States, but was originally started in Japan. The first store opened in 1996, and since then the company has expanded, now having over 650 stores all across Japan, currently averaging about 50 new stores each year. 2nd Street USA opened its first United States Store in Melrose, a prominent thrift, vintage, and fashion area in Los Angeles, in 2018. The store had immediate success and in the same year 2nd Street USA opened stores across Orange County in Pasadena and Costa Mesa. However, in 2020, the company took it’s plans to the next level and opened its first store on the east coast, in Manhattan, New York. 

Because 2nd Street is originally a Japanese store and concept, the business plan for the stores in the United States pay tribute to international and Japanese designers specifically. Many of the United States stores have a section for merchandise from Japanese designers exclusively, lots of which have already gained popularity in the United States. The Japanese designer section often includes products from COMME des GARCONS, Yohji Yamamoto, and Issey Miyake, just to name a few. 2nd Street USA also carries many Japanese brands that are not otherwise available in stores in the United States, allowing it’s customers to diversify their taste while also adding to the growth in popularity of Japanese designers. Most of their USA stores mark the pieces from these Japanese designers with red tags in order to make it easier for customers to find these highly sought-after brands they are in search of. 

A lot of 2nd Street’s success in both Asia and the United States can be attributed to the warm environment it provides customers and it’s unbeatable customer service standard. 2nd Street bases it’s employee and store standards off of the traditional Japanese idea of “Omotenashi,” which stresses the need for taking care of and welcoming guests. Because of this standard, 2nd Street constantly has several personal stylists walking in their store, offering to help customers locate merchandise and provide styling advice. These stylists work with customers to find street-style pieces that fit their personal style while finding one-of-a-kind items that are usually not sold in stores anymore. Another pillar of 2nd Street’s Omotenashi is the cleanliness or organization of the store. While many thrift and consignment stores are exploding with merchandise that is often thrown around, 2nd Street takes care to deliberately organize their products by size, color, and designer. The strict tidiness of 2nd Street is in part what sets it apart from many other consignment stores and draws customers for an easy and fast shopping experience. 

2nd Street sells high-value consignment products from designer brands including Louis Vuitton and Chanel, just to name a few, as well as having more moderately priced and unbranded racks of clothing as well. Although the store size ultimately determines this, 2nd Street USA stores aim to always have around 10,000 pieces of merchandise available for purchase at all times, which means that the store is constantly getting new inventory. However, everything at 2nd Street has something in common: all of the pieces have been lightly or barely used and are looking for a new home. With a bigger push towards environmental sustainability in the fashion industry, more and more people are regularly shopping at second hand stores not only to support the environment but to save money as well. 2nd Street as a company has paid particular attention to the environmental crisis that fast fashion has caused and has promised to never waste a piece of clothing. In order to fulfill their promise, the store founded it’s Hand2Hand Project, which connects the store with partner companies in order to donate the clothes that are not used for inventory. Through it’s sustainability partnerships, all of the unused clothing is recycled- rather than being sent to a landfill like most extraneous clothing matter- and is used to make materials that can be used to clean up oil spills in factories. Similarly, the Hand2Hand project also donates extra clothes to third-world countries in order to supply those in need with clothing as well as create a market for clothes, in turn creating new jobs in communities as well. 

As the second-hand fashion industry is continuously growing and in fact is projected to be worth over $50 billion in the next several years, 2nd Street USA expects to keep opening new stores and reach record breaking success. 2nd Street USA’s team has set a goal of opening over 100 stores in the United States, and plans to focus their locations in areas with a large fashion culture, usually in the shopping and fashion districts of bigger cities. 

If you are interested in shopping at 2nd Street USA, there are a handful of locations in Southern California. The closest ones to Orange County include:


2nd Street Costa Mesa: 2937 Bristol Street d101, Costa Mesa, California, 92626

2nd Street Torrance: 20792 Hawthorne Boulevard, Torrance, California, 90503

2nd Street Melrose: 7560 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90046