SOURCE: J.C. Miller Antiques

J.C. Miller Antiques Baden

June 02, 2016 07:30 ET

Miller Brothers Launch J.C. Miller Antiques Despite Rock-Bottom Market and Dismal Youth Interest

A Recent Index That Tracked Retail and Auction Prices for 1400 Different Types of Antique Furnishings Since 1968 Found That Their Average Price Fell Another 6% in 2015, Plummeting 62% Since 1988

BADEN, ON--(Marketwired - June 02, 2016) - Two brothers Justin and Ethan Miller are pacing with anticipation today as they prepare for the grand opening of their one-room high-end antiques store tonight. There's an elephant in the room though: "Who still buys antiques?"

For the first time ever The Antiques Roadshow, a TV show famous for stunning hopefuls with what grandma's silverware is worth, is doing the opposite: highlighting how much grandma's silverware would be worth had they sold at the peak of the market 15 years ago.

"We are realists, not idealists," Justin, 27, declares. "The heyday in this game is over. Much of it can be explained by demographics: baby boomers drove the market for years and now they are downsizing. The problem is that their kids aren't interested in the stuff. They're not sick for it like their parents were. There's a growing supply and shrinking demand."

For decades people never questioned the investment potential of antiques. "I saw it for years," Ethan reflects. "People just assumed that the older something became, the more it was worth. Today that thinking has been flipped on its back."

The Millers recall a time when their late father Jim Miller, a Canadian legend in the world of antiques, sealed each deal with his simple catch phrase: "They print money everyday; the last I heard they quit making these." They watched him "wheel and deal" in a red-hot market where decorators demanded old country furniture and collectors fought over every last dribble at antique shows. Life was good.

"You just couldn't lose in those days," the Millers recall.

Today, potential buyers are much harder to persuade.

"If you bought 15 years ago, unless it's absolutely exceptional, you're looking at 50 cents on the dollar," Justin says. "Average doesn't cut it in today's market. It has to be killer or it doesn't move."

So how do the Miller brothers plan to survive?

"Deal in the exceptional, the rarest of the rare, the best of the best," Ethan says. "We target the 1/10 of 1% of the population that 'gets it,' not the masses. Our entire inventory is photographed and online. We can't afford to think local these days. Our mission is to be a destination, not a stop on someone's daytrip."

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