What Is an Antique Mall?
Antique malls are shopping malls that provide the opportunity for shoppers to browse through a wide range of items that are considered to be collectibles. Various stores or booths in the antique mall may be devoted to such items as furnishings, clothing, jewelry, and even appliances. In many instances, the mall is located in sites formerly occupied by department stores, such as the anchor store space in a strip mall.
One of the reasons why so many people enjoy antiquing at a mall of this type is the wide range of selections. Unlike a single antique store, where the type and number of available items is usually more limited, the antique mall caters to collectors of both the usual and the unusual. For example, a single store of this type is likely to carry the more predictable items such as beds, dressers, and sofas. But this mall is also likely to have hard to find items like fainting couches, original wood burning stoves, tapestries, and even authentic period clothing from eras gone by. Even for people who are not looking for a particular item, browsing through an antique mall may provide hours of enjoyment.
In some communities, the antique store has brought renewal to older shopping centers. As demographics change and large department stores move to new areas of the city that are growing in population, many of these older shopping hubs fall into decay or are torn down to make room for new construction. The advent of the antique mall can often signal a revival for the area, enticing niche shoppers to the area. In turn, small cafes and other specialty shops begin to fill smaller spaces around the mall and make the old shopping center a favorite destination once again.
While many may think that an antique mall would be an expensive place to shop, the fact is that many items carried in malls of this type are very affordable. Some of the items are not restored, making them attractive bargains. There is usually an array of old books, costume jewelry, and knick-knacks that tend to be low-ticket items. Some malls today even carry vinyl records, making the mall attractive to yet another niche market of customers.
Along with brick and mortar antique venues, there is also the option of shopping online. As with other retail options, people can choose to set up an Internet based store and offer antiques for sale online. While these types of stores may not offer as wide a selection as the more traditional antique mall down the street, they are great places to look for items that cannot be found elsewhere. Some of these online malls even offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount.
There's a place about twenty miles from my house that calls itself an antique outlet mall. I went out there one time and was disappointed by most of the merchandise. Some of it was clearly reproduction, and other things were damaged by all the careless shoppers who didn't know how to handle antiques properly. I did find some nice antique china and some vintage dresses, but the rest of it was not particularly vintage, just old and dusty.
If I'm going to go shopping for antiques, I prefer to go to an old downtown section of town where all of the antique stores are within walking distance of each other. I can make an entire day out of the trip, especially if there's a restaurant in the area, too.
We have an antique mall in our city, and I sometimes spend an entire day just rummaging through every booth. I found an entire box of vintage comic books under a table the other day and I spent an hour thumbing through all the comics I grew up reading. The owner of the mall said she wondered if I had gotten lost or something. I was actually hiding under that table and pretending I was ten again.
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