In the continuing series looking through the keyhole of ‘bricks and mortar’ shops in 2017, ATG talks to Ian Humphries about his business, Manormonkeys Antiques Warehouse. When and why did you open your premises?
I’ve been in the trade about 30 years and relocated here in 2016, as I wanted a larger floor space with period features to sell my stock, all of which is carefully sourced by me.
How did you choose the location?
It’s a great area, a short commute and the landlord has a keen interest in antiques. Also, the period buildings were once owned by the Cadbury family, whose name appears on the site.
How many staff do you have?
I’m a sole trader, so no staff yet. Unfortunately, that means it’s just me lifting all the heavy stuff on my own!
Do you own or rent your premises?
How has the passing trade changed since you’ve been open?
It’s steadily improving as people find me and word gets around. Neighbouring businesses on the site also draw customers in.
Sky’s the limit: what is one change you would make to the shop?
Double the space for half the rent (ever hopeful)!
Why should customers visit a shop rather than visit a website?
It’s a great opportunity to rummage and Manormonkeys isn’t your traditional antique shop. I sell an eclectic mix of traditional and decorative pieces, which can only be truly experienced by popping in to soak up the atmosphere and get a feel for the quality.
What is the biggest challenge of running a shop?
Making sure I’m always there during opening hours – thank goodness for online salerooms, which save me running around the country buying stock like the old days.