Al Bell, the new president and CEO of Levin Service Co., is primarily focused on improving the customer experience at Caesar Creek Flea Market. His long-term goal is to collaborate with the shops and position the market as a fun destination for the whole family.
“The market has seen some rough times in the past few years since the fire in 2012,” said Bell. “Our goal now is to make it once again the best place for shops to have their booths. Starting this month, our primary focus will be on bringing in more shoppers and keeping them coming back again and again.”
Experience can be informed by subtle changes in the environment, like lighting and music. The first four updates shops and shoppers will see at the market by July seek to improve the overall look and feel.
1. Better first impressions.
In order to create an attractive first impression, the outdoor vendor location will be moved to the center parking lot between the admission booths, facing State Route 73. The outdoor entertainment stage will be moved to the center of the new vendor space, keeping the picnic tables in front. Additionally, visibility from 73 will be increased by repositioning and branding storage pods, trailers, and vehicles. Outdoor food concession trailers will be relocated to the ends of buildings 1, 2, 3, and 4.
2. Improved parking and traffic flow.
The new parking lot is in the process of being repaved and lined for a smooth and safe visitor experience. The East admission lot closest to I-71 will be used for heavier traffic and the newly resurfaced former vendor lot will serve as our largest parking area. The two smaller lots on either side of the ticket booths will also be open for general parking. To increase the market’s accessibility, part of the West lot will be used to expand handicap parking.
3. Additional staff training.
A new General Manager, Mary Burr, will work closely with Taylor Clark, Operations Manager, to ensure all Caesar Creek Flea Market staff hired by Levin Service Co. will interact with shops and shoppers with a positive, professional manner. Friendly and helpful staff will go a long way to create a memorable, fun visit to the market.
4. New marketing and advertising.
The new customers Caesar Creek Flea Market wants to attract include younger shoppers interested in home decor, antiques, and family fun. New advertising campaigns and a major message shift will attract more shops to make the market a magnet for new customers. Bell anticipates 10,000 to 12,000 customers each weekend once these changes are well underway.
5. Steady operating hours.
In the past, visitors to the market have posted online reviews with negative feedback about shops opening late, closing early, or booths being empty. Unfortunately, since these reviews are visible to people thinking about coming to the market, the reviews may create a bad impression. Bell is relying on shops owners to change this reputation. In order for the upgrades to be successful, Caesar Creek Flea Market is requiring all shops to observe the operating hours of 9 am to 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays, no matter the weather.
When announced at a market-wide internal meeting, the response from shops was primarily positive.
“Some of our shops have been here for over 20 years,” Bell said. “They are savvy business owners and want to know what we are going to do to help them be successful.”
At the meeting, the shop owners also volunteered suggestions to continue attracting new customers. New promotions and upgrades will be announced at caesarcreek.com and facebook.com/caesarcreek.