By Elaine McAllister
So, what’s a pop-up sale? According to Wikipedia, pop-up retail is a relatively new trend in which short-term retail sales take place in a temporary venue and traditional marketing is often replaced by social media.
“We see pop-up sales in large cities when retailers want to sell a large amount in a short amount of time,” Troy Wiens, board president of the McPherson Opera House explained recently when announcing the Vintage Pop-Up Sale to be held in the lobby of the McPherson Opera House on June 29 (9:30am-5pm) and 30 (9:30am-1:30pm).
“With the retirement of Rick Tyler, we were able to acquire some great finds and make them available for the public,” Wiens explained. Dr. Tyler, McPherson College’s long-time Professor of Speech and Theatre, was asked to thin down the donated costumes and props accumulated during his tenure. As a result, over 300 pieces of vintage clothing, shoes, hats, accessories, furniture, dinnerware, and assorted props will be offered in this one-of-a-kind, two-day sale with proceeds to benefit the McPherson Opera House.
Among the items for sale there will be hoop skirts, plaid sport coats, mini-skirts, cheer outfits, and – last, but certainly not least – an even dozen yellow (yes, yellow) tuxedos! “We’re marking things low so they go out the door,” Wiens explained, stating that no item will be over $10. Community theater groups in the area have been notified, and the news of this sale is spreading thanks to social media and word-of-mouth. Though they’ve had requests, no early sales will be made.
The McPherson Opera House Company, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was originally founded in 1986 as the McPherson Opera House Preservation Company with a goal of saving the building, which was closed in 1965, from demolition. January 28, 2010 marked the Grand Reopening of the Opera House – exactly 121 years after the Grand Opening.
“I’ve been involved with the McPherson Opera House from the time you could stand in the basement and see the sky,” Wiens remarked. Many volunteers have supported the preservation of this great icon for decades, according to the organization’s website – http://www.mcphersonoperahouse.org/aboutUs.htm – which states, “The early supporters of the Opera House are genuine heroes.”
“We had several volunteers who wanted to save the Opera House,” Wiens explained, recalling the early history. “They didn’t have anything to sell, so each one was directed to bring back 10 things to sell.” That was the beginning of the Resale & Consignment Store (once known as Apartment 6) which moved into its permanent home next to the Opera House just two years ago. The store continues to provide funds for the daily operations through donated goods which represent 95% of what is sold.
Larger, more valuable items are often consigned, with profits split 50/50. A decreasing price tag (at 30-, 60-, and 90-days intervals) entices those seeking a bargain as well as those willing to pay full price rather than risk losing it. Consigned items still on the floor at 120 days may be left as a donation (with a tax receipt made available) or taken home. Normal store hours are from 9:30 am-1:30 pm on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays as well as noon to 6 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Heroic volunteers continue preserving the Opera House today. Volunteers staff the store working as little as two hours a month or as much as several days a week. “We’re always looking for volunteers,” Wiens added, “and we definitely wouldn’t survive if it wasn’t for them.” Wiens describes the volunteers as a fun group to work alongside.
“The Vintage Pop-Up Sale is NOT at the store,” Wiens stressed, “but in the lobby of the Opera House – where you buy tickets and get concessions.”
It’s the place to be, so mark your calendar as you won’t want to miss McPherson’s Vintage Pop-Up Sale!