Shortly after celebrating the shop’s 65th anniversary, John Rosselli Antiques announced yesterday that it would be closing the doors of its shop in Manhattan’s Interior Arts Building on October 30, and transitioning into an e-commerce business. The move marks a strategic pivot for John Rosselli, who wants to place more focus on his network of showrooms in New York, Chicago, and Dania Beach, Florida, as well as a forthcoming location in Washington, D.C.
“Frankly, it comes down to savings and overhead,” Rosselli tells BOH of the decision. “Our lease was up, and like many other shops, we felt the pandemic’s effects, from less foot traffic to travel restrictions. Our antiques and decoration business has always depended on a national and international buyer—they are our trade backbone. [In this climate], an e-commerce site for John Rosselli Antiques was the answer.”
Rosselli and his team began looking at new ways of keeping operations running smoothly during the shelter-in-place orders earlier this year. “As a company, we chose to focus on renovating our showrooms to offer an enhanced experience for designers with a one-stop-shop mindset,” says Jonathan Gargiulo, Rosselli’s nephew and the company’s managing partner, “It’s no surprise to anyone that rent is high in New York and the industry is changing. We decided that the best course of action would be to transition more of John’s atelier collection to the showroom and create a dedicated antique e-commerce site for higher visibility rather than have an additional storefront.”
Rosselli and his antique shops have been a staple within the design community since his first New York store opened on 2nd Avenue in 1955. He relocated to four different storefronts over the years before moving into the Interior Arts Building in 2008. Moving forward, a broader selection of his one-of-a-kind pieces will be available at John Rosselli & Associates showrooms, and the company’s East Harlem workshop will continue to produce and restore pieces. “We are doing a consolidation, which we feel in the long term will better serve our clientele and strengthen the brand,” says Rosselli. “For the next five years, our business plan focuses on our brick-and-mortar showrooms, enhancing our connections with designers, and providing personal service, which is essential to building relationships.”
Homepage photo: John Rosselli in his shop in the Interior Arts Building | Kelly Marshall