by Stephen Dafoe
Mercantile reopened Apr. 3 in their same 100 Avenue location in downtown Morinville after a couple of months of converting the shop into a multi-vendor concept.
Before their shutdown, the local shop had become known for carrying mostly furniture pieces, and those primarily vintage and antique. While you can still find unique furniture pieces new and old, the new concept offers something for everyone.
Co-owner David Mills said he and business partner Susan Swanson have lined up 17 hand-picked vendors in the shop with even more coming in the next few weeks.
“We’ve been helping home-based businesses take the next step to get into a retail situation, and helping them grow,” Mills said, adding he expected the Mercantile opportunity would help some of the businesses grow to the point that they need storefronts of their own.
Mills said the multi-vendor concept has allowed the store to carry a line of products even larger than before.
“There will be a bit of everything and anything from old, old to brand spanking new,” he said. “We have brand new mattresses, furniture and decor, but we have a paint line, a little more giftware, and unique items. It changes daily. Every vendor has their own tastes, which will appeal to different people.”
Those vendors include wood carvers, photographers, sculptures, glass, records, toys and collectables. There are even art prints that contain entire literary works hidden within the picture.
“We just want to keep everyone growing and help them to get to that next step where they can go get their own space,” Mills said. “It’s like a business incubation centre.”
Mills said Mercantile operates similarly to the Strathcona Antique Mall in Edmonton in that the vendors rent and set up their space but do not have to be present to sell their merchandise. Mills, Swanson and their staff take care of that for the vendors.
Mercantile still has room for some more vendors. Although Mills and Swanson are hand-picking the right types of vendors for the shop, they say they are more than flexible with those vendors in terms of allocating them space and helping them get set up.
Those interested in setting up shop in Mercantile can visit the owners during business hours.
Mercantile is currently open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.