Antique dealers plan trip to Europe ASAP, as they move business online – Stuff

Antique dealers plan trip to Europe ASAP, as they move business online – Stuff

The owners of an antiques and decorative arts store in Blenheim are ready for “another adventure”.
Great Expectations, Antiques & Decorative Arts Centre owners Andrew and Heather-Anne Ritchie have sold their building in Springlands, and are moving online.
“We’ve decided to retire from being here doing retail on a daily basis,” Andrew Ritchie said.
“I am an antique dealer and I can’t stop buying and selling, so we will just deal online and continue bringing in containers from Europe.”
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The 72-year-old businessman said he was planning to go to Europe as soon as possible this year.
“We need another adventure, it’s all very boring when you can’t go away and buy stuff.
“The fun is looking for stuff and finding stuff.
“It’s also nice to sell it, but the biggest fun is searching around and finding unusual and rare items and presenting them to the public. That’s the best part about it … finding it.”
The couple did their last trip overseas in 2019 in a big van, driving 11,000 kilometres through the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy and France to fill an entire container.
“We haven’t been able to do that since then.
“We have had to rely on auctions and buying stock within New Zealand, and it hasn’t been easy.”
Their 400 square metre warehouse, on Middle Renwick Rd, had been averaging between 1200 and 1500 lots of late, from a Guerlain perfume advertising stand to Native American wooden heads and other Japanese embroideries on silk.
Ritchie, who owned an antique store on Grove Rd for 13 years, said it used to cost him $4000 to bring a 6-metre container from the UK.
“I think it’s probably three times that now, and we used to get them here within 44 days and I suspect it will take quite a lot longer now.”
Ritchie said business had still been good, with “steady demand”, despite Covid.
The couple had sold their entire Middle Renwick Rd property, which was nearly 1600sqm. The gym in the other building was remaining.
Ritchie said the site had been bought by a local person.
“It’s a very good site, on such a major route in Springlands.”
Great Expectations, Antiques & Decorative Arts Centre will shut its doors on May 27, with a two-day auction on April 30 and May 1.
© 2022 Stuff Limited


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