Monday, August 12, 2013

Sack's Thrift & Antiques Morphs into Treasures in Chamblee

Sack's Thrift & Antiques is closing.

The "for profit" thrift store first opened the fall of 2011 off Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Duluth. I visited the store shortly after opening and was far from impressed. The store was stocked with anything and everything, but "thrift store-like deals" were scarce. Pricing seemed more in line with a midscale consignment shop, with some items as little as 20-30% off their retail price.  Items in the store ranged in price from 10 cents to over $10,000.  

I added the store to my DeathWatch in March and predicted it would "close likely by fall."  

Much of the store was stocked with items procured from bank and insurance liquidations, estate sales, auctions or inventory of failed retailers such as Linens 'n Things, Borders Books & Music and Filene's Basement. Sack's also carried appliances, TVs and antique, retro and other second hand furniture. 

Overall the store was 45,000 square feet, with the far left of the store known as "The Avenue," merchandised separately as the "higher end" area, with antiques and furniture.  

One customer, Michael Nelson, claims he was sold a fake gold watch and was refused a return.  Nelson went on numerous review sites with rants about his experience.

Sack's Thrift & Antiques opened as Sack's Thrift Avenue.  From the beginning,  I questioned the legal ramifications of a business name so close to Sak's Fifth Avenue, but was told by management, "our lawyers approved it and I welcome any issues, as it will inevitably lead to extra publicity for my company." I don't know the full story, but something tells me a little behind the scenes legal discussion took place and the thrift shop's name was changed.

The whole operation seemed strange and overly "corporate" for a single store operation.  Most employees had branded and embroidered black polo shirts and ear pieces as if they were secret service.  The store had a number of big time corporate-like titles such as CEO Michael O’Kane, COO Wes Gore, Purchasing Director Sterling Deeb and Ken Matthes, Sack’s Executive Vice President of Operations.  

Interestingly, when I was visiting the shop last year, I was told that their plans called for as many as five additional stores to be opened by year end. While those plans never materialized, I did recommend management check out both the North DeKalb mall area as well as the Chamblee Plaza area.

The closing of Sack's will come on the heels of what management is calling a "new direction" and the opening of "Treasures." Treasures will open in the old Castleberry's Treasures For Your Home on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, just off Peachtree Boulevard near Chamblee Plaza (The Blee on Broad.) 

Treasures "will continue to offer NEW, USED and SLIGHTLY ABUSED items with future enhancements after we get set up in our new digs." Additionally, the new store "will have an enhanced philosophy and greater involvement in the community." 

Treasures is slated to open August 15th and a "sister store" is hinted to be opening as well, with an official announcement expected in September. 

Though no mention is made of Treasures being a charitable endeavor or a 501(3)(c) entity, a release made by the company indicates the business has "partnered" with a number of charities including Becca's Closet, whose main mission is to supply dresses to financially deserving high school seniors.  Another partnership is with Walker's Room, an Atlanta-based charity that provides food and clothing to those in need.  According to the Walker's Room facebook page, they have received numerous large donations of clothing from Sack's.   
The release goes on to say "donation receipts will be offered at the new location, or you can donate clothing towards your purchase for additional savings discount credit."   

Personally, the entire operation and charitable angle sounds peculiar.

Did you ever shop Sack's?  What were your thoughts?  What are your thoughts on "Treasures?" Please share your comments below.  


Anonymous said...

Probably wouldn't believe anything Wes or Michael say. They are fairly unreliable

Anonymous said...

i would not be surprised if all thrift stores are not linked somehow to trade merch and sort the valuable stuff out and send it to the stores where it sells more


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