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. Kent's done a good job of putting together some good guests, intelligence and irreverence without the inane chatter of the other two shows. JMV is unlistenable, mostly because he doesn't do his homework and depends on non-sports stuff to keep HIM interested. Query and Shultz is a bit better, but lack of prep in their show certainly is evident. Sterling obviously workes harder than the other shows. We shall see if there is any way for a third signal with very little successful recent history to make it. I always say you have to give a show two years to grow into what it will become...

  2. Lafayette Square, Washington Square should be turned into office parks with office buildings, conversion, no access to the public at all. They should not be shopping malls and should be under tight security and used for professional offices instead of havens for crime. Their only useage is to do this or tear them down and replace them with high rise office parks with secured parking lots so that the crime in the areas is not allowed in. These are prime properties, but must be reused for other uses, professional office conversions with no loitering and no shopping makes sense, otherwise they have become hangouts long ago for gangs, groups of people who have no intent of spending money, and are only there for trouble and possibly crime, shoplifting, etc. I worked summers at SuperX Drugs in Lafayette Square in the 1970s and even then the shrinkage from shoplifting was 10-15 percent. No sense having shopping malls in these areas, they earn no revenue, attract crime, and are a blight on the city. All malls that are not of use should be repurposed or torn down by the city, condemned. One possibility would be to repourpose them as inside college campuses or as community centers, but then again, if the community is high crime, why bother.

  3. Straight No Chaser

  4. Seems the biggest use of TIF is for pet projects that improve Quality Of Life, allegedly, but they ignore other QOL issues that are of a more important and urgent nature. Keep it transparent and try not to get in ready, fire, Aim! mode. You do realize that business the Mayor said might be interested is probably going to want TIF too?

  5. Gary, I'm in complete agreement. The private entity should be required to pay IPL, and, if City parking meters are involved, the parking meter company. I was just pointing out how the poorly-structured parking meter deal affected the car share deal.

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