Secondhand items innovation: Secret treasure antiques remodel enterprise fashions throughout pandemic

Secret Treasures Antiques for almost 30 years, which has thrived by promoting classic gadgets at “wow costs”—from 5 cents to over $100—within the Maine-Dampster Mile business district of Evanston. Enterprise has additionally developed, however by no means as quickly or as quickly because it has been prior to now two years.

Proprietor Don Okamoto mentioned COVID-19 pressured the shop at 605 Dempster St. to do issues he by no means imagined, and greater than serving to it survive, took the enterprise in a brand new course Is.

“The pandemic has pressured us to have a look at our enterprise in such a unique means. The best way we do enterprise now was by no means in my sport plan,” Okamoto mentioned. “About three years in the past, I’d have written a very completely different marketing strategy.”

Gross sales fall to 40% of pre-COVID ranges

It has been almost three a long time since Okamoto took the entrepreneurial leap and determined to give up her media gross sales job within the company world, according to her values ​​and her favourite pastime – thrifting.

“My passion on the weekends was my remedy, my launch from after I lived within the company world,” she mentioned. “I have been doing this since I used to be little and going to auctions with my mother. At a sure level I requested myself if I used to be going to go company for the remainder of my life, and need to receives a commission properly. However be unhappy.

Secret Treasure Antiques, 605 Dempster St., guarantees classic gadgets “at wow costs.” Credit score: ned schaubo

Secret Treasures has been successful, and Okamoto credit it, largely, to adopting one thing he likes. However COVID-19 posed a significant problem.

Okamoto and his crew, which they needed to considerably scale back in dimension, stored the buying expertise personalised by COVID-safe buying codecs like encouraging clients to window store and are available for curbside pickup. However when gross sales fell to 40% of pre-pandemic ranges, they shortly decided they would want a extra sturdy on-line presence.

The shop up to date its web site within the first few months of the pandemic, which additionally included an e-commerce part. A pal on the retailer, Evanstonian Julie Cowan, jumped in to assist.

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