Peddler's Mall becomes part of Danville Manor

July 26, 2004|TIM WISEMAN

In an empty supermarket, John George has found exactly what he wants.

George owns Peddler's Mall, a chain of antique and flea markets in Kentucky, Indiana and Florida, which sets up shop in "distressed real estate" - giant, vacant retail spaces that once housed Wal-Marts or grocery stores.

A new Peddler's Mall is set to move into Danville Manor Shopping Center on Hustonville Road, in space left empty by the closing of Winn-Dixie almost four years ago. "I have been trying to get into Danville for three years," George said. "We do so well in this area, but there just were not many empty buildings in Danville."

Within each Peddler's Mall, individual vendors rent space for $120 per month without having to agree to any long-term agreements. More than half of the 250 available slots in the Danville location have been filled, George said.


He said vendors and merchandise vary from store to store, ranging from antiques to collectibles to "yard sale stuff," but he believes Danville's store, scheduled to open Sept. 1, will feature more high-end items, to cater to what he considers to be a high-end market.

Mike and Janet Mulholland, owners of Maddy's Books, another store in Danville Manor Shopping Center, said they expect the addition of the Peddler's Mall will be good for everyone in the center.

"It will bring more people to the mall," Janet Mulholland said. "It's better than that place being empty."

Mike Mulholland agreed, saying, "It can't be anything but positive."

When it opens, the Danville store will be the 15th Peddler's Mall, the first of which George opened in Louisville in 1997.

Prior to that, George owned two sewing factories in Lebanon and had other business ventures in the restaurant and screen printing industries. The movement of textile production overseas pushed his factories out of business, George said.

"I woke up one day and I was completely busted," he said. "I had to find something else to do."

He had been running a seasonal Christmas store in Louisville at the time, and so he decided to find another use for the location.

"I wanted to have a different concept of the flea market, a different niche," he said.

From Louisville, Peddler's Mall has expanded across Kentucky, with stores in places such as Nicholasville, Richmond and Elizabethtown. George expects to expand to 20 locations in the near future, as he considers sites in Kentucky and surrounding states.

George said he is close to a deal that will allow him to offer General Electric "scratch and dent" appliances at all the locations, including Danville. Also, he hopes to start offering an online listing of vendors' products, so vendors can sell over the Internet.

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