Each year, Managers from the six Brass Armadillo Antique Malls and corporate personnel gather to discuss topics ranging from mall operations to industry trends. This year’s conference was held at the Brass Armadillo in Goodyear, AZ on January 24-25. We welcomed the newest manager: Jennifer Edmonds, who is the General Manager at the Omaha Brass Armadillo Antique Mall.
The Antique Mall business continues to be a thriving trade. While some categories of items that are usually found in antique malls have become less popular, there are plenty of other items that have grown in demand. Glassware, for instances, still has varied interest. Colored glass is still sought, while much clear glass, crystal and etched glass has less fame. In most cases, glassware does not command the price it once did.
Many figurines, porcelain trinkets, collector plates and other items that gained acceptance in the 1980’s gift shop era, now have little demand. Mid-century modern furniture and furnishings seem to have continued popularity, along with kitchenware, such as Pyrex and Corning Ware. Many items are purchased for their utilitarian features. It is not uncommon for young families to search for the same items that they had growing up.
We continue to see record albums (vinyl) having strong interest. Plus, vintage advertising and automobilia are common purchases. Of even greater noteworthiness, is the growing number of younger consumers that shop in the Brass Armadillo for items which include pop-culture items. (Yes, believe it, Star Wars now fits the vintage definition). Many items found in Brass Armadillo malls may not be necessarily antique, however, items that have a collectible value have become trendy. For instance, ComiCon gatherings can elevate newer comic books or other new items popularity to instant value in the collector’s world. Many promotional items from conventions can be instantly valuable.
This meeting contained a strong focus on this topic: Customer Service vs. Customer Experience. How can the Brass Armadillo continue to be a popular destination for recreational shopping? The group discussed current trends in social networking and social media, but also explored how we can provide our team members with additional training that gives every visitor to our malls, an experience they happily share with others. The Brass Armadillo website was recently modified to allow for visitors to share their experiences. The direct link to this: http://www.brassarmadillo.com/share-your-visit
In conclusion, the group discussed the business outlook for this industry. The resulting message was the idea for continued interest to purchase vintage items, especially those used for decorating or that may have a nostalgic attraction.
We look forward to 2017 !