“Where Did They Go And Why Did They Leave?”
I was a seller in an Antique Mall for nearly 18 years. I enjoyed going to the store every few days, merchandising my many booths and adding new items I enjoyed talking to other sellers. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that remaining in that antique mall was not a smart business decision. I was paying way more in rent than I was netting every month, it was an expensive way to store my inventory. So I moved out and opened my own brick and mortar shop I also increased my online presence, Luckily for me I did ~ this Covid Shut Down Would have been my downfall .. We kept selling from our store while mall dealers were shut out. Owning your own shop has its merits.
Dealers who never change their merchandise, many malls need vendors to afford the rent and they are not as discriminating as they should be the vendor booths are poorly maintained and they are not merchandising their items, just crowd stuff on shelves and on the floor.
Dealers don’t research their items properly or do not have the knowledge : It’s amazing how many vendors put a high price on every item, label items vintage or antique when clearly they are not.
Inability to control image: In a Mall surrounded by other dealers/merchandise, the only area I had control over was my own. If someone beside me kept never changed out inventory or sold low quality items, this brought down the general atmosphere of the store.
Declining quality of merchandise sold in antique mall : My personal experience is that the level of merchandise available in many antique malls has been on the decline. If a mall owner is not vigilant in the quality of merchandise that dealers bring in the mall will lose foot traffic. When a mall owner is not willing to prohibit new items or or Goodwill type merchandise, this leads to a decline in quality of merchandise and overall is not good for anyone. Higher quality dealers get frustrated and move out looking for better selling venues.
The Economy: The covid shut down has hurt a lot of small business and Antique Malls are not immune . When the economy was shuttered dealers in malls could not access their merchandise they had no control, while independent antique shops could remain open for private shopping days, smaller shops have less square foot than big box malls, so their rent is more affordable and antique malls depend upon vendors to pay the rent. During the shut down landlords still want their rent, and many vendors opted to leave this can be pretty costly for the mall owners.