Reprinted with permission from AntiqueWeek; complimentary copies available by sending name and mailing address to connie@antiqueweek.com.

Exit 76 Antique Mall sets new record for sales in July

EDINBURGH, Ind. – In its four-year history, the highest or best month in sales for the Exit 76 Antique Mall has traditionally been the month that included Labor Day weekend, but not anymore.

According to Nic Nicoson, general manager of the Exit 76 Antique Mall, July’s sales set all new records for the mall. According to his figures, sales were up by 19 percent over last year and they were up 13 percent over the previous best month’s total, which was set in August 2003. Additionally, the total number of items sold at the mall was also up by about 20 percent from last year.

Among the factors Nicoson attributed the strong sales month to were an overall economy improvement despite what some press reports have stated, a special Customer Appreciation Day event, and increased advertisements through local and trade newspapers, billboards and television commercials. According to Nicoson, even the weather played an important role in sales, as this was one of the wettest Julys on record.

During Customer Appreciation Day a $50 Exit 76 gift certificate is given away every hour from noon to 5 p.m. At the end of the day, the mall staff figures out which customer bought the most items and which customer had the highest total sale; both receive a $100 Exit 76 gift certificate in the mail. The next Customer Appreciation Day will be Oct. 2.

“Average sales have continued to go up in many recent months, going up 7 percent in the past month,” said Nicoson. “Even with gas price increases we have more buyers than lookers. The recent addition of a Checkpoint system might be part of less traffic, but that is also keeping out some customers we prefer not to visit Exit 76.” Checkpoint is an anti-theft device.

“We also started staging the ‘red vest’ floor team on weekends a few months ago to give better service,” Nicoson said. “This way I know the entire floor (72,000 square feet) is covered and I can assign coverage based on sales patterns.”

 

According to Nicoson, the mall has nearly doubled its weekend floor coverage due to more customers on weekends than on weekdays. Although floor teams are given a lengthy list of “things to do” when out on the floor, customer service is always their number one concern. After that, security, continual cleaning and straightening and putting back carts and baskets are their priorities.

“Our floor team walks anywhere from eight miles a day to 15 miles on a weekend according to the pedometers we have used in the past to measure their walking distance,” said Nicoson.

According to Nicoson, the mall has sold more expensive furniture within the past month than it has in past years. After reviewing customer feedback, he attributes this to the mall having a better collection to offer its customers and a better overall presentation than it has had in the past.

“Our 340 merchants have brought in additional great merchandise including more furniture and some higher price items,” said Nicoson. “I’m excited to see what the upcoming months of August and September will bring.”

Exit 76 is located about 30 minutes south of Indianapolis on I-65.

Contact: (812) 526-7676,
info@exit76antiques.com

 

Kim Tibbs

Editor’s Note: AntiqueWeek encourages antique mall owners and managers, shop and show owners and auctioneers to send in success stories. Articles should include information that other business owners can use. Send information to Connie Swaim, P.O. Box 90, Knightstown, IN 46148 or e-mail connie@antiqueweek.com.