Antique pop-up shop a downtown driver in Elizabeth City

13News Now Philip Townsend has the story

ELIZABETH CITY, NC. (WVEC) -- The storefront, its front door, and the vintage pieces inside it may not strike you as anything out of the ordinary.

But a new antique shop in downtown Elizabeth City called "EC Design" is getting a lot of attention for its unique concept.

"You're seeing them pop up all over the country now," said store owner Mel Powell.

With the help of his business partner, Powell set the entire store up in just a week. And in two months, he plans to move out.

That's because it's a pop-up shop.

They're typically used by major retailers to test the market for a new store, but Powell is putting his own small-business spin on the concept.

Thanks to a short-term lease with the property owner and cooperation from the city, he's testing out his antique store without the risk of a long-term commitment.

"We thought this would be a good opportunity for us to work together," said Powell. "To try to encourage people to come down and offer something more than what had been down here."

But Powell's business strategy is unique, because it could potentially bring new business to the city as leaders look to fill vacant storefronts downtown.

If things work out for his store, Powell plans to move to a bigger property down the street from the shop's current location at 115 Poindexter Street.

In doing so, he is opening up a vacancy that has already proven it can bring in customers. It could be an attractive selling point for new investors.

(© 2016 WVEC)


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