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Theft : Stores that sell small valuable items attract thieves. To reduce theft in our mall, we will encourage dealers to lock small valuable items in display cases. We will install several visible state-of-the-art security cameras and alarms, and make it known that we prosecute thieves. The back door will remain locked and will only be used by staff to bring in large furniture. We will also regularly review problem areas, such as areas where inventory keeps coming up missing, and establish plans to correct the problem.
Data Breach : Whether it be credit card processing machines or websites, the retail industry has become targets for data breaches. We will make every effort possible to safeguard our data by using the latest cyber security software and point of sale system.
Accidents Involving Personal Injury : As mall owners, it is our goal to have hundreds of shoppers each month enter our store, but unfortunately with shoppers comes the risk that one or several of them will injure themselves while in our store. Anything can happen, and as mall owners, we have a legal duty to keep our guests "reasonably safe." We will attempt to avoid the risk of injury, by keeping our store clean and free from hazards. We will also maintain liability insurance coverage, which includes personal injury, and product liability.
Damaged Inventory : Another risk associated with retail stores is damaged inventory. This risk is especially a concern for antique dealers, as their rare items may be very valuable and impossible to replace. To mitigate the risk associated with damaged inventory we will strongly encourage our dealers to secure and insure their valuable items.
Style Trends May Drive Demand : Similar to traditional retailers, fashion, color, design, style trends and regional trends can affect demand for antique and other collectibles; and prices for the same item can differ depending on geographic location. To offset this risk we will encourage our dealers to keep up with new trends and developments and to rotate stock accordingly.
Economic Decline : When the economy suffers it is typical that antique and collectibles stores suffer right along with it. The mall owners have enough business experience to know how Midland's economy tends to oscillate, and we have pledged to create an emergency fund to cover all our expenses during bad times. We also believe we can weather economic declines better if we know they're coming, therefore we will stay tuned to economic news about our local, regional, and national markets. We will temper this risk by having a diverse customer base, which will help buffer against economic changes that drastically affect our typical target customers’ spending habits. Additionally, we will also minimize the effects of local economic declines by adding an eCommerce component to our business so we can reach a wider market.
Pricing Merchandise : A persistent problem in the antique and collectibles trade is that many dealers overprice their merchandise. Pricing merchandise is somewhat risky because, if much of the merchandise in the store is overpriced, customers frown and the mall obtains a reputation of being "too expensive," which drives away other customers. Overpriced items also sit in the store way too long. On the other hand, if prices are under-priced, dealers may determine the business is not worth the time or effort and quit. We will ultimately leave pricing up to the dealers, but to reduce the risk of being labeled as "too expensive," we will encourage dealers to do market research on their products and keep the prices competitive.
Soiled Reputation : One of the greatest risks for any retailer is developing a bad reputation. In the digital age, consumer review websites have become the shoppers first choice for recommending retailers. At the touch of a button, rating sites provide the consumer with tremendous amounts of information on which to base their decision. A Harvard University study found that for every one star increase in Yelp rating, there was a five to nine percent increase in revenue. According to the study, 80 percent of shoppers will not buy from a store with negative reviews. This means that if we develop a bad reputation, we will lose four out of five of our potential customers. We feel the best way to manage this risk is to make sure every customer that enters our store leaves happy, and if for some reason a customer complains, we will do everything in our power to make things right.
Acquiring Low Quality Merchandise : If unchecked, antique booths can become dumping grounds for unwanted items unsuitable for resale. To combat this risk, we will fastidiously vet our dealers to ensure a steady flow of high-quality items.