By Mike Steely
“We will be one of the largest antique and vendor malls in America, right here in Knoxville, Tennessee,” said Donald Jenkins. He and his wife, Crissie, have opened Mega Peddler’s Mart of Knoxville in the former Kmart location at 4434 North Broadway in the Northgate Plaza Shopping Center.
The Jenkins family has leased the entire 111,000 plus square feet store, just south of Interstate 640, and opened about four weeks ago. Already there are about 70 spaces rented and a potential of 600+ being built in the future. “We have an additional 20,000 square feet upstairs, so we can add 200 more booths if we rent out the main sales floor. This would bring the total available booths for rent to 850,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins told The Focus that he wants to do something for the people of Knoxville. “This is an opportunity for the average person to rent space in a high-traffic storefront that they may not be able to afford by themselves. By setting up and selling in our store, you can keep your full-time, day to day job. The income you make selling at our store is supplemental income. It’s like creating 400 or more part time jobs. Anyone can be a vendor,” Jenkins said. He operates the store with his wife and eight-year-old daughter.
“We are blessed to have eight years of total experience in flea markets and vendor malls. For this store to be successful, we have to have vendors. We need more vendors. It’s the essence of what we are, Jenkins explained.
The mart is currently open Monday- Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. He told The Focus that with growth, the mart may begin opening on Sundays. “Our plans are to have a concession stand and possibly even a restaurant,” Jenkins said.
What makes Mega Peddler’s Mart different?
“We’re not just an antique or flea market,” he said and a tour of the mart backed his words, showing a good mix of furniture, clothing, collectibles, toys, and much more. Each vendor space is neatly designed with pegboard and vendors can design their space anyway they wish.
Jenkins said that unlike a flea market being open every day gives more opportunity for vendors to sell more merchandise. Each item is tagged and all vendors have to do is display the item and the store will sell their items for them. Monthly rent is $150—basically $5 a day.
“We have a low commission that sets us apart from other stores similar to ours. It is a standard low of only 5%. This means the more stuff that vendors sell, the more money they can keep.
Jenkins added that vendors could realize a full-time or part-time income potential with no contract or lease for space.
“We feel like we have the best location in Knoxville. No matter whom we talk to, when we say our store is in the former Kmart building on Broadway everyone knows exactly where we are located. This is key when driving traffic and business to the center. Using billboards and our easy access to I-640 makes it ideal to drive out of state tourism from I-75, to North Broadway at exit 6. Making it a perfect place for shoppers and vendors,” he said.
“Rent Space, Sell Merchandise, Make Money,” is the motto.
“We will work hard to sell your stuff for you. Vendors are encouraged to book now while Prime Space is still available,” the Jenkins said.
You can get more information about becoming a Mega Peddler’s Mart vendor by calling (865) 337-7230 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find the business online at www.megapeddlersmart.com and on Facebook @megapeddlersmart.