Nearly 11 months after a fire shut down Smiley’s Antique Mall, the antique store will open with a new name, ownership, management and website.
Antique City Mall will open Friday and look like a big box store, said co-owner Art Adkins. The family-owned store, located 17020 SE County Road 234, will also have a new website that Adkins compared to the Amazon of antique shopping.
“You have to be incredibly tech savvy to keep up,” Adkins said. “We’ve been successful in our smaller market. Now that we’re moving, it’s a bigger playing field.”
A fire on Jan. 23 burned about half the building and shut the store down, said Art’s wife and co-owner Carol Adkins.
Art Adkins said he, his wife, his daughter and his son will take over owning and managing the store. The family is focusing on improving customer service, he said.
“The whole emphasis is — and a lot of people do this — let the antiques sell themselves,” he said. “Usually, you have about as good a chance as getting kidnapped by a terrorist than getting help in an antiques place.”
The new management made Jayme Kortman, a vintage boutique owner in Monroe, Georgia, consider visiting again, she said. After visiting the store in February of 2016 and being unsatisfied with the service she received, she wrote a bad review on Facebook and vowed not to return, she said.
“It’s not hard to find an antique mall, and I shop all over the Southeast,” Kortman said. “I will only frequent the ones that have a friendly atmosphere with good prices.”