People have been spending an unprecedented amount of time at home during the pandemic, which has inspired many to redesign their living areas, and for Boston Consignment, this trend means that business has been booming.
“We’re busier now than we’ve been in 20 years,” said Stacey Lai, who, together with her with her parents, Real and Sheila Roy, owns the North Beverly-based high-end consignment store that specializes in antiques, furniture, art and jewelry (upscale furnishings, light fixtures, Oriental rugs and fine arts), as well as offers premium consignment services throughout New England. “Everyone’s working from home and redesigning their interiors, and kind of looking for new fresh items. They’re really experiencing their homes and saying, ‘you know what, our living room hasn’t been working for us so let’s consign it and get a new one.’ Folks want to refresh a room, and we’re able to provide that service and recycle their old furniture, too.”
The Roys, who lived on Beacon Street in the 1970s and ‘80s, opened Boston Consignment in Needham in 2010 before relocating the store to North Beverly in 2018. Before that, they owned and operated Cachet, a high-end consignment store in Fairfield, Conn., from 2001 until nine years later, when they moved back to the Boston area to be closer to their grandchildren and opened Boston Consignment.
Pre-pandemic, Boston Consignment already had a strong online presence through its website and Instagram, Lai said, so they were at an advantage when Massachusetts retail businesses were forced to temporarily shutter in compliance with Gov. Charlie Baker’s mandate last March.
“When we closed the store for foot traffic and just had the website, we started shipping all over the country,” Lai said.
For shipping purposes, Boston Consignment has used uShip, a platform likens to Uber that connects shippers with independent carriers, for the past five or six years, and like on Uber, uShip users build a reputation over time based on the feedback from their transactions.
“They know we pay on time, we’re respectful, and that we won’t delay them,” said Lai in regard to Boston Consignment’s strong standing on uShip.
And for customers, using uShip also means they get their orders in a very timely manner.
When a customer called from Greenwich, Conn., earlier this month, searching for a card table, Boston Consignment had one in stock, Lai said, and after texting a photo of the item to the customer to ensure that it would satisfy her needs, it was delivered to her home the next day.
This comes in sharp contrast to many furniture manufacturers, Lai said, that now have such a backlog of due to the pandemic “it could take forever” to fill their orders.
In fact, Boston Consignment offers such convenience with items ready to ship, Lai said, that some interiors designers have begun using them as a “resource.”
“Clients aren’t traveling or eating out so they’re spending money to make sure their homes are as comfortable as can be,” Lai added.
Boston Consignment is located at 43 Enon St. (Rte. 1A) in North Beverly, and its store hours are now Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or visit them online at www.bostonconsigns.com.