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Sudden closure of consignment store leaves some customers without clothes or cash

Business closed after more than two decades
Posted at 6:08 PM, Mar 01, 2017

A popular Tampa consignment shop suddenly closed and some consignors say they lost hundreds of dollars’ worth of items.

The ABC Action News I-Team tracked down the owner and got some answers.

The Elite Consignment Boutique has operated in Tampa Bay for more than two decades at several different locations.

But when the owner decided to finally shut the business down last month, some of the people who dropped off goods to be sold here say they didn't get the message.

“I would take every two or three months a whole load and then she would give you a check,” said Wanda Vazquez, who was a regular consignor and customer at Elite Consignment Boutique, located on West Waters Avenue.

She says she bought and sold clothes, personal items and purses at the store. But she said she was surprised on her latest visit to the store.

“The place was closed, there were no signs. I had a phone. I tried calling them and no answer,” said Vazquez.

“They're asking me where'd she go? I just said I really don't have any information, I just know that they're closed,” said Maria Javinett, who runs the laundromat next door to the closed store.

She learned the business was preparing to close in January, when she says she saw sale signs and a flurry of activity.

“I've seen clientele come in at the end for items that weren't sold that they retrieved back,” Javinett said.

Javinett said customers told her that the owner, Heide Holbert, told them to pick up those items, or they would be donated to local charities.

We reached Holbert at her home.

She said she got sick, decided not to renew her lease and tried to contact everyone.

“I had all of my three girls calling people, because I had 3,000 or so consignors,” Holbert said.

“I never was contacted,” said Vazquez. “She had my phone and my information because I've been with her for years, over ten years.”

Two other consignors also told the I-Team they weren't contacted.

There's also no mention of the store's closure on its Facebook page.

The owner says she wants to pay any consignors she owes money who she was unable to reach. 

If you believe she owes you money, contact us at Adam@abcactionnews.com, providing your name, phone number and other contact information. We will forward that information to Holbert.

 

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