... but not as you know it!
Often seen as old fashioned and a bit stuffy, the traditional antiques shops in town centres had long been in decline even before the pandemic hit the High Street. With online antiques thriving during lockdown is there a future for antiques on the High Street?
During the last year antiques have been thriving online with social media platforms creating a whole new audience looking to find something sustainable and unique for their homes. There has been a merging of traditional antique dealers with vintage lovers and interior designers creating dynamic online communities. At Retrovation, we have moved much of our business online during lockdown and now have 100's of unique pieces available on our website. We also take part in "Virtual Fairs" online. Check out @virtualvintagefair and @salvagesundaysdealers on Instagram.
So as we approach the reopening of non essential shops, what does the future hold for antiques online and on the High Street?
At Retrovation we envisage a dynamic new world where businesses that have become predominantly online such as Retrovation use street markets and pop up shops to take their products back to the High Street. We want to keep the convenience and accessibility of online shopping, but combine it with hands on and personal experience of a real fair
In the next month, Retrovation will be back on the High Street at both the St Albans and Chiswick High Street Antique Markets, but we will be merging the real world with our "Virtual Fair" experience learnt during lockdown. Our market stall will be shared online in real time allowing our followers to experience the market.
We will be trialling replacement of old paper product labels with "QR codes" so you can scan a 2D bar code with your smartphone to go straight to our website and get information about the product and even pay for the product on our website.
And we will be offering the "click and collect" facility to buy anything on our website and collect at the market with no delivery cost saving money and being more sustainable
So will this new world work for antiques? A year ago, the answer may have been no! But the last year has seen the world increasingly pushed online and people forced to use their smartphones in the real world to order products and services and for track and trace. As much as everyone is eager to get back on the high street, there has been a fundamental shift towards the convenience of online shopping and communication.
Retrovation will be at the first St Albans antiques market of the year after lockdown on the 18th April and in the new Chiswick High Road antiques market on May 9th. These will be running in the real world and on Instagram whilst we continue our #salvagesundays virtual fairs on Instagram. Follow us @retrovation on Instagram to find out how it goes or come and see us at St Albans and Chiswick Antiques Markets!