If it was just one cloud on the horizon, the owner of Corinthian Antiques and Reproductions in Westbury might have decided to stay in business.
But with his 10-year lease expiring Sept. 30 and the world in a financial funk, David Hall will liquidate his $4 million inventory and shut the doors of his 25,000-square-foot showroom. He’ll be abandoning the family trade that his father Robert started as a wholesale business in Manhattan decades ago. His eight employees will lose their jobs also.
“My goods are really luxury items,” he said. “Quality merchandise is something that is postponeable.”
Hall once traveled Europe scouting for antiques and fine furniture, but as the economy went south and the dollar fell against the euro, the imports became more costly. He eventually began carrying just reproductions of European furnishings, including some manufactured in Southeast Asia, but that meant his inventory was no longer unique, pitting Corinthian against a lot more competitors, he said.
“When you look at the big picture and you just see the world the way it is right now and all the challenges our economy is facing and the world economy is facing . . . it’s tough to back stop all of that,” the businessman said.
He realizes he might be getting out of the trade at the wrong time, just as the dollar grows stronger against the euro, weakened by European Union members’ debt.
For him, the likelihood of returning to the antiques and furniture trade is “slim.” He said he’s pursuing several “entrepreneurial” options once he has money in the bank from the liquidation.
“Ultimately I would like to just find something that I can put my effort into and my money into,” Hall said, “and get a return on both my energy and my investment.”
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