How the Pandemic has Affected my Antique Business

We are now about 15 months into the pandemic and I think no matter where you are, it’s impacted your life in one way or another. Putting the obvious aside, let’s take a look at how it’s changed my retail antique business. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and rent space in one of the largest antique & collectible malls in the valley of the sun. Been there for 5 years. and over that time, not much had changed, until the Pandemic hit. Bottom line, the business tanked, hit total rock bottom, and the recovery has been painfully slow.

What I Sell…

Vintage glassware and collectibles. The glassware is mostly mid-century Fire King, pre-war collectible dinnerware, and vintage shakers. A market that has been highly sought after by Chinese & Japanese retailers from abroad. Travel restrictions, and perhaps the personal choice to be safe, has turned my business from a successful retail space into a museum.

So far, I’ve just been hangin’ in there hoping for a recovery. I’ve been paying rent for over a year now with hardly any revenue. What exactly are today’s antique shoppers looking for? Are the die-hard collectors gone? Are they not shopping because of Covid? Unemployment? Maybe, a little of both?

Nevertheless, knowing the majority of my sales were in fact from Japanese & Chinese retailers seeking vintage Made in USA Fire King. I have three apparent choices. Keep waiting for the world to return to normalcy, close shop, or change my inventory to appeal to a new clientele. So which one will it be?

I have no idea.

Back to Blogging from Arizona HOME PAGE


  1. I just stumbled across your page – I’d love to check out the jadeite you have for sale. I’m a serious collector from PA and live in Los Angeles. Can you email me?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s