Q&A with John Klemm

October 2, 2013 

John Klemm

Q&A with John Klemm

City of Residence: Byron

Occupation: Owner-operator Big Peach Antique Mall

QUESTION: How would you describe Big Peach Antique Mall?

ANSWER: A huge collection of all kinds of things your mother, your grandmother, your great-grandmother and maybe even your great-great-grandmother used to have. It’s a museum you can walk in and touch things as well as a marketplace where you can buy things.

QUESTION: What’s your role, what do you do?

ANSWER: I manage dealers who have booths and merchandise here and oversee seven-days-a-week operations. And I move a lot of furniture around.

QUESTION: Is there a difference between a flea market and an antique mall?

ANSWER: An antique mall like ours contains more quality merchandise than what you’d have at a flea market. It’s more of a collector’s venue with genuine antiques, artifacts, furniture, reproduction furniture, quality and well-made items. We don’t have used household items like appliances and electronics. You won’t find a used Crock Pot or toaster. No used clothes unless they’re vintage or have a unique purpose.

QUESTION: As owner, do you sell antiques or do you sell space?

ANSWER: We sell antiques. We do provide services and space to other vendors, but it’s more than just renting space. We provide services to our dealers and customer service to our customers. It’s a good question because people think we just rent space, but spend a day in our shoes and you’ll see a lot of details you probably never thought about.

But we buy and sell, too. The whole reason we do this is it’s enjoyable. Every day is different. You never know who or what’s going to come through that door.

QUESTION: How many vendors here?

ANSWER: Roughly 214. They’re mainly local but we have some from across Georgia and from Alabama and Florida.

QUESTION: How are your sales in this questionable economy?

ANSWER: People are more particular about what they buy and they hold tighter to their dollars -- until they find what they want. There’s a huge variety of collectors and shoppers who are looking for a deal and not looking for something brand new. That’s the reason we thrive in this economy. You don’t have to be a millionaire to be a collector.

QUESTION: How many sales transactions on an average day?

ANSWER: Maybe a hundred on a slow day but on weekends more like 200 to 300.

QUESTION: What’s the most unusual item you’ve had?

ANSWER: Oh, I think a surgical bone saw. Or maybe a confessional. We had a confessional and sold it.

QUESTION: What’s been your favorite item?

ANSWER: The confessional. I mean, where have you ever seen a confessional for sale?

QUESTION: Have you noticed an average customer browsing time?

ANSWER: It varies, but usually a minimum of two hours. A lot of people come and look, go to lunch, then come back. We have a lot of business from people off the interstate and some of them come in, spend the night around here, then come back the next day.

QUESTION: Your location?

ANSWER: We’re in Byron east of I-75 at exit 149 at 119 Peachtree Parkway, north of the Peach Shops at Byron. We have a site at bigpeachantiques.com.

Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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