(WSVN) - It went from a hip shop to a shuttered sneaker store, and some customers say they’re not getting a “kick” out of waiting to get paid. 7’s Brian Entin has our special report “Shoes Blues.”
If you’re a big fan of rare sneakers, Sneak Attack near Wynwood was the place to be. They had all the coolest brands.
Ryan Swann: “In the good times, I would make anywhere from $600 to $1,000 a month.”
Sneak Attack was a consignment store. Sneaker-obsessed collectors like Ryan Swann would give them his shoes to sell — and then get 80 percent when the sneakers sold.
Ryan Swann: “They would take their little percentage, I would get my cut, and we would both be happy.”
But Ryan and other customers say they were stunned when, without warning, Sneak Attack closed.
Ryan Swann: “Everything was boarded up. Their phone number was disconnected. They weren’t replying to the Instagram messages. They weren’t replying to the emails.”
Ryan says he is owed $400 plus, he says, the store has almost $1,000 of his merchandise.
Shane Handelsman: “What they’re doing is wrong.”
Shane Handelsman says he is out almost $600.
Shane Handelsman: “It has been a little over a month and a half now, and nobody has seen any progress with getting any merchandise back or with any checks.”
The store posted on its Instagram page at the end of August: “We will be moving locations and we need all consigners to collect their items before Sunday. Regarding consignment payouts, the date still stands for September 1st.”
That was more than two months ago.
Brian Entin: “Do you have any idea where your stuff is?”
Ryan Swann: “No, I have no idea.”
Sneak Attack customers are not the only ones looking for money they’re owed. The store’s landlord is suing, claiming Sneak Attack stopped paying its rent.
Alan Marcus, attorney: “It has never been the intent for my clients to screw anybody or not to pay them.”
Attorney Alan Marcus, who represents Sneak Attack, says there is more to this story. He says the store was forced out of business because of sewage backups, roof leaks and mold in their building.
Sneak Attack is also suing their former landlord.
Brian Entin: “If your client sold the consignors items and made that money, shouldn’t the consignors get paid?”
Alan Marcus: “Well, it’s like any business that has a problem or a money problem, an issue and goes out of business. Here we were forced out of business, and it’s our intent, once we recover in the lawsuit, to pay back all these consignors.”
How long that may take is unclear, and there is no guarantee consignors will ever get paid.
Ryan Swann: “It was my livelihood. It’s how I put food on the table. It’s how I, you know, keep the lights on.”
Ryan’s apartment is still full of shoes. He says, despite the bad experience, he’s staying in the sneaker business.
Ryan Swann: (showing his collection) “These right here are Jordan 1’s.”
For now, he’ll stick to selling his kicks online.
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