Opening new antique mall?

auntbabyAugust 2, 2011

My best friend has a large old building that is empty and she still has to pay the mortgage. It had been a rented Antique Barn for years and now sits empty. I suggested we try and open a mall for our local vendors. She also has an empty gas station next to it, and a large lot out back for a week-end flea market. Is there anyone out there that does this and is it a worth while venture? I think if we make the rent reasonable, it could work. Any thoughts?

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In my area there a long wait lists at all the consignment and antique stores. Also, the shabby chic painted and distressed look is really popular. At antique store I go to most often, the owner finally gave into a few shabby vendors. She told me she sells on average 5-7 pieces a day!
I'm not a big fan but people love it.

I think the success of these places has a lot to do with knowing what people want and using care discretion in the selection of vendors and their products.

I like the idea of the flea market. Invite a hot dog or bbq cart vendor. Something that will make it friendly and fun.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 6:15PM
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I love the ideas-and agree that having a flea market outdoors is great. This might be the ticket for keeping a certain level of quality in the mall itself. Lower-quality applicants can be made welcome in the flea market. avadoone's idea of a hot dog or bbq stand would definitely be a help-keep the hungry people on premises. Once people leave the premises the potential for selling to those people is lost, so keeping them on site is vital. That's why antiques fairs have vendors right inside.

Your friend ought to sit with her attorney to discuss her liabilities and other legal stuff. She may have to meet a fire code. Probably hundreds of other things I haven't thought of and wouldn't know about.

Wish her success from me.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 10:46PM
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auntbaby, having owned an antique mall, be prepared for lots of work and some headaches. Reasonable rent and seller fees are important, but also remember you have to pay the mortgage, utilities, advertising, and perhaps employees. The flea market is a good idea as long as the flea market dealers aren't competing with your regular dealers. Have a very detailed rental agreement listing exactly what liabilities you do and do not have. Exactly what you expect from your dealers as far as merchandise, coming in and keeping their booth neat and tidy, making sure all items are priced etc. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:06AM
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