Downtown Antique Mall is closing

After eight years, The Downtown Antique Mall is closing.

Dean Schaefer said his health and the economic challenges of the antiques business are the main drivers for his decision.

Schaefer opened the shop at 611 Central Avenue after the Pacific Galleries antique mall closed. Schaefer had managed that shop for several years.

Since he doesn’t own the building, he’s having a going out of business sale with discounts and is working with his antique dealers to move inventory out of the store. He’s hoping to clear out what it’s in the shop by the holidays, then close for a bit and then move everything from the basement up to the sales floor.

“That’ll fill it up again,” he said.

In all likelihood, the shop will remain open until about March so he can clear as much inventory as possible.

“I’m hoping the public comes out to support me to get this inventory out of here,” Schaefer said.

He said he’s going to get out of the business and enjoy life more by spending more time with his church and helping others. He’s a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Great Falls and wants to do more missions with them in the community, he said.

The first five or so years at The Downtown Antique Mall were great, Schaefer said, but between online shopping and other antique shops moving in next door, it’s been more and more challenging.

But he said he’s appreciated the community’s support during the time he’s been open downtown and said he’s sure he’ll still see his regular customers around town after the store closes.

The antique business has also changed over the years, he said, going from people wanting vintage and more valuable antiques to second hand items to what some would consider junk and now many shops are having to mix in new items to stay afloat.

“People are just changing,” he said.