Deb Haupt, owner of Haupt Antiek Market in Apple Valley, Minnesota, has a unique, less-is-more business plan. The less being her business hours, and the more being her sales. “Traditional antique shops,” says Haupt, “are usually open six or seven days a week, and their inventory many times is priced so high that you look at a wonderful piece and have to walk away because it is not in the budget.” Shoppers can walk away from these shops knowing the same piece most likely will still be in stock a year later. There is no urgency to buy immediately.
(Photo courtesy of Deb Haupt)
Haupt’s plan, which she calls “event shopping,” makes each day her store is open a special event. Haupt Antiek Market is only open one weekend each month, Thursday through Sunday. Shoppers have four days to buy. Pieces are priced to go, and Antiek Market customers know a piece they like won’t be available next month.
Each monthly event has a theme. For example, January 2016’s theme was Tidy & Whitey, and the antique market featured, for four days only, vintage storage items and decorating ideas in shades of white. “It is all about organizing your home and office using vintage and antique pieces. We are using a lot of white items to give people the feeling of a fresh start for the new year.”
“Because we are only open four days, we have lots of customers at one time,” says Haupt. “So, if one customer looks at something and thinks it is interesting and walks away, thinking they will walk through the store and then come back for it, the customer behind her thinks, ‘Great, she walked away, and now I am going to buy it.’”
Haupt Antiek Market creates fresh, theme-centered displays for the monthly events. “We don’t have rows and rows of locked cases. We put our pieces together like you would use them in your home. We re-purpose and up-cycle vintage pieces and give them new life.” The dealers at her shop, says Haupt, love to buy and design. They keep prices lower than competitors do so shoppers are able to buy, and the store can offer fresh pieces at the following month’s event. “Remember,” says Haupt, “it’s the thrill of the hunt!”
This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse