The Edmond Sun

December 4, 2012

Company's closing means holiday savings for shoppers

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Elks Alley Mercantile owners closed their doors in November and items from the more than $1 million inventory are being auctioned this week.

“I would guess the inventory is a little over $1 million retail,” said Dan Duckwall, owner of Duckwall Auctions based in Tulsa, who is handling the auction of fine European furniture and home decor items.

Although the retail estimate for the furnishings is high, Duckwall said there are some real savings available, and it is a good time to shop for the holidays.

“I think the recession has tightened up the economy so that the cash flow is not what it used to be,” Duckwall said. “We can tell it at auctions, especially since we don’t have financing.”

Business owners who can offer financing will come to buy the larger ticket items to take back and sell in their stores, Duckwall said.

When the economy is down, like it is now, Duckwall said the company holds more auctions with less money coming through, and when the economy is up they will have fewer auctions but make more money.

The company held a two-day preview Friday and Saturday with no minimums and no reserves.

On Monday Becky Bearce from Marlow said she received a brochure telling about the auction prior to the sale date and traveled to Edmond hoping to find some good buys.

“I have a home decor store with funky painted furniture,” Bearce said.

At the end of the sale day Monday, Bearce said she had spent about $1,000 as she loaded two vehicles with the items she had purchased. “This is much better than going to market; I just hope I can get it all loaded.”

Randy Alexander of Oklahoma City said he saw the auction advertised online and in the newspaper.

“I don’t need anything,” said Alexander, who has been attending auctions for more than 20 years. “My tastes lean to the eclectic and I have already bought some items.”

He added he had already spent about $200, and the auction had been under way for about an hour and a half.

In 1960 the 13,920-square-foot building was Edmond’s first bowling alley. It  was purchased in 2005 by Elks Alley Mercantile Inc. and renovated to house European antiques and home decor items as Elks Alley owners in Guthrie moved to the Edmond location at 1201 S. Broadway.

 Smaller items including gift items, lamps, architectural items and home decor accessories went on the auction block Monday.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, European antiques including hand-carved furniture, hutches, armoires, bedroom furniture and tables as well as clocks, primitives, framed tapestries and oil paintings will be auctioned.

ONB now owns the 1.58-acre of property with a market value of $566,800.