Some astute business managers are making the most of vacant space during a slow, overall economic environment by opening a new consignment store in Eureka.
Called The Shop on the Hill, the building used to be a fitness facility known as Curves for Women. It is located at 535 N. Central Ave. Prior to that, it was a Rent'N Go Video business.
When this building owner from Labadie, Anna Liles, couldn't secure a renter for the space, her grandson and his wife, Josh and Julie Dubbs turned it into a new consignment shop just before the winter holidays.
They carry items such as antiques, collectibles, knickknacks, clothing, household goods, furniture, home decorations, jewelry, sports and fitness products and DVDs. They pay 40 percent to 50 percent commission of items' net prices.
Julie said they sold fairly many outdoor-related items, such as gun scopes and knives, for Christmas presents, and now are low on furniture, due to a bit of a holiday rush.
"Some people said we were crazy for opening at what's generally a slow time of year for consignment stores, because the busy seasons are during and after spring and summer when people are clearing out," she said. "But jumping in slowly and learning as we go has been working well for us."
Julie said she's in the market for holiday Barbies, and several collectors already have stopped by looking for old, vinyl records.
"Although clothing sales seem to be down right now, we surprisingly don't have many baby clothing and items. Generally, that's a category that consignment stores have a lot of because newborns grow so fast," she said.
One product that "sold like hotcakes" lately was name-brand purses, Julie said.
To facilitate better and more frequent connections between customers and consignors, Julie is launching a wall display on which cards can be filled out regarding what specific items people are seeking.
She said she next will focus on seasonal decor, such as Easter.
Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Julie and Josh are hosting a grand opening Jan. 10 with the Eureka Chamber of Commerce, and a business partner feature through U.S. Bank that week.
Consignors sign an agreement that enables the Dubbs to donate items that don't sell during a specified period of time to charities, or to retrieve them before they are scheduled to be donated.