February 6, 2009

Modern Tots Gone Tots Up?

Ouch, it had to happen sometime, and it sucks when it does. But it appears that ModernTots has closed down. Back in 2005 when there were just a handful of modern kids' design shops, ModernTots opened online selling the new classics and some of their own designs. And their Brooklyn store/showroom in DUMBO was an early go-to site in New York's hipster baby farm.

But an email from a reader a couple of weeks ago noticed that the ModernTots.com website was down "for maintenance," and now Jenn at Minor Details reports that the store's silent, too.


I've had several emails out to the head of Modern Tots(about outstanding invoices)for a few weeks now and haven't heard a word. She normally gets back to me ASAP so I'm taking all of this as a bad sign. Thanks for confirming my hunch.

This has been the word for a while now - could it have anything to do with their customer service...?

It's a shame, really. They always had a progressive and exciting selection of children’s design.
Bright side for the consumer - close-out sale!


you mean that they lavished so much attention on their customers that it ate into their operating margin? Or maybe there has been a larger trend afoot in the economy the last couple of quarters? Or maybe no one really liked going to DUMBO after all?

anyway, they're gone, with nothing left and no peep of a sale.

amazing. the economic downturn is taking it's toll. Oh, but, wait, they just passed the "Stimulus" (aka "Bailout", aka "huge expansion of government") and I'm sure that will help prop up stores similar to Modern Tots who were on the bubble. Right. Now if they'd do something like make MY mortgage payment for 3 or 4 months, I guarantee I'd be stimulating some hip baby stores, the ones that are still left.

be careful, you may have a chance to refinance your mortgage at 4pct before it's all said and done. of course, you could refuse to refi on principle if you like...

I registered at Modern Tots two years ago when I had my baby. I loved their product mix but the customer service in the store was pretty abysmal. I know how difficult it can be running both a non retail biz (the website) and a retail biz (the store) for the owners to be present and watching over things. The floor staff was young, not bright, and not too eager to help. I was there a handful of times and it was the same every time. I don't believe that is the only reason they failed, however. It just isn't easy to pay NY rents (even in DUMBO), wade through the myriad red tape and bureaucracy it take and costs to run a biz and make enough money to break even much less make enough of a profit to take a little somethin' for yourself. I own two businesses in NYC and can relate!

i have no sympathy for them. I placed an order, they charged my card, took my money and then closed their business. If that's not fraud, I'm not sure what is.

Anyone have updates on this? I have a gift certificate for Modern Tots, and would love any contact info. Their voicemail box is full.

I suspect you're screwed. I've emailed and heard nothing back.

here's one of the owner's other businesses:


I too was screwed out of $350 by these a___ holes. The desk my wife and I ordered for our grandson never came and now you know the 'rest of the story'. There is a special place in HELL for people like this. Jeff Lovely, Tacoma, Washington.

Any update on the "rest of the story" with modern tots?

I also had a terrible customer service experience with them -- really unbelievably abysmal: they sold me an overpriced dresser that the paint rubbed off of, staining the new baby clothing I put into the drawers. After weeks, LITERALLY WEEKS, of calls back and forth, during which they denied that there was any defect, I finally demanded that they come pick up the damn dresser since I was due to give birth any day and could not deal with this craziness anymore. So they did, and then subtracted $195 "return shipping" from the store credit they gave me -- which I now find is useless since the store is gone! Not surprised, given how horrible my experience with them was, but frustrating nonetheless, given our $800 down the drain.

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