In 2008, Rachel Leibowicz, owner of Boerum Hill antique staple Circa Antiques, told the Brooklyn Paper that “the day of the single storefront of an antiques shop is done. You change or die.”
As of yesterday, Leibowicz has chosen the former. Brownstoner reports that after 40 years of serving the local antique community, she will close her storefront on 374 Atlantic Avenue and move sales completely online.
The Brooklyn Paper article said back then Leibowicz was feeling the bouts of rent hikes and the recession. So she closed all of her shops except the one on Atlantic. But perpetually rising rents and a growing online antique industry are Leibowicz’s rationale for closing her last brick and mortar shop.
“It’s not viable anymore,” she told Brooklyn Magazine. “There’s not enough walk-in business to make it viable for us to stay here.”
Leibowicz, who specializes in 19th century furniture, lighting, and decorative objects says an increased demand for mid-century modern items (damn all you Mad Men nerds!) has also hurt her sales. But Leibowicz has been selling her antiques online for 14 years, and is excited to make the absolute transition to digital. “My overhead will be virtually zero,” she says.
As of now, the Circa Antiques website says all of its merchandise is marked 20 percent to 50 percent off original prices. Now go swag out your apartment!