Driving hard bargains at a big antique mall

July 27, 2010
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For insight into just how tight shoppers have become, consider the activity at Exit 76 Antique Mall, one of the largest in the Midwest.

The mall, which is near Columbus, is seeing a boom in customers’ asking mall personnel to call vendors and chisel down their prices, says Denise Pence, who owns the mall with her husband, Gregory (a brother of Congressman Mike Pence).

Customers made the request only occasionally a few years ago. Now one or two out of 10 do, Pence estimates. And when they do, they usually get a discount of about 10 percent. This isn’t so different from people showing up at garage sales and asking if the price on the tag is the best one available.

Keep in mind that many antiques already are heavily discounted from what they might have cost a few years ago.

“People are willing to wait the extra 10, 15 minutes” to get an answer from a vendor, she says. “They’re not willing to settle on something. They’re just going to look for a better price.”

Frugality also has hit young adults in a big way. Exit 76 has seen an increase in traffic from adults ages 23 to 35, many of whom are stocking apartments or first homes. Shabby chic furniture is a big seller.

Does Pence’s experience square with yours? What are you seeing?

 

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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