Dealers in western Kansas have found a way to showcase antiques in their area by sponsoring the Western Kansas Antique Shop Hop April 27-29.
So far, 13 dealers have pledged to participate. The goal of the shop hop is to get shoppers to travel, or “hop,” to all 13 stores during the weekend event.
To encourage shoppers, each store will hold a drawing for a door prize to be given away at the end of the hop. As further incentive to attract shoppers, three grand prizes will be given away during a drawing from the names of people who visit all 13 stores during the weekend. The grand prizes will be gift certificates valid at any of the participating stores on a future purchase in the amounts of $125, $100 and $75.
The idea of a shop hop was borrowed from quilt stores, who have been hosting quilting shop hops for years. While the concept of a shop hop is not new, one way the hop is being promoted is relatively new. A Facebook page for the event has been created, on which details of the hop, pictures and information about specific stores or the names of the prize winners will be posted.
The hop will take shoppers along a 146-mile route from Colby, Oakley, Scott City, Leoti, Tribune and Sharon Springs, Kan. According to Robbin Schemm, co-owner of Scott City Antiques, each store is different and shoppers will find a lot of variety. While her store has a rustic feel, Jim at Vinny’s Fine Antiques focuses on upper-end antique furniture.
Jim Smith, owner of The Shaggy Buffalo in Oakley, Kan., had planned to open his new store some time this summer. However, he decided to move up his opening date to coincide with the shop hop. The shop hop is being advertised regionally, and he wanted his store to be included in the ads. The regional advertising was an attractive benefit to Antiques Nice As New in Sharon Springs, Kan., and Leoti Antiques, both of which have opened in the past year.
This article was originally published in Antique Trader
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Henry Maurth of Southwind Antique Mall in Colby, Kan., and management at A Moment in Time in Oakley, Kan., sees the hop as an opportunity to expand their customer base, which is currently about 85 percent travelers from I-70.
Jana Brittan of Paragons & Poppycock in Scott City, Kan., likes the cooperative nature of the hop. She has always welcomed new antique stores to the area, because there is strength in numbers. On a similar note, Karen’s Kitchen, Colleen’s Antiques and M&M Antiques all in Tribune, Kan., are participating in the event because they want people to realize that, as one of the western towns in Kansas, there are antique shopping opportunities in rural, small-town America.
As the economy tightens and the price of gasoline increases, more people are taking shorter road trips instead of going on extended vacations. Donita Sparks of Divine Secrets, A Resale Shoppe and Randy Schwartz, owner of Randy’s Antiques, both of Oakley, Kan., anticipate that as word spreads, with four antique stores in Oakley and several others within a day’s drive, shop owners will see an increase in the number of shoppers in their stores out for a day of antiquing.
Hours of the hop are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27-28 and the afternoon of April 29. For more information, call Brittan at 620-874-1712.