New rent rates attracted more than 50 new vendors
By Chris Fish
BEACHES -- Since his family has taken over management of the flea market on Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne, Ed Renninger wants residents to know that his business is aiming for perfection.
"It's much nicer than what it was four months ago," he said about the business he and his family took over on Nov. 1. "We are very dealer-friendly, which is something we have developed during a period of 35 to 40 years. We know that dealers have to be successful for us to be successful."
The Renningers, who co-own four other markets alongside Mr. Renninger's mother and brothers, with two in Pennsylvania and an antiques and flea market in Mount Dora, said they are redeveloping the market to make it more appealing and dealer-friendly.
"We are redoing the roof and the outside to make it more appealing," Mr. Renninger said. "Also, the bathrooms have been completely redone. If it isn't good enough for me, than it's not good enough for my customers."
Mr. Renninger has also revamped the rent structure to make it more affordable and to attract a variety of local vendors to enhance a customer's experience.
"We have somewhere from 50 to 60 new vendors, some with multiple spaces," he said. "There is a lot more variety than what used to be here. The old owners discouraged weekly rents, but I think weekly rents turn into monthly rents."
Renningers Flea Market contains several vendors, including a variety of foods, clothing and some antiques.
Mr. Renninger said one popular vendor is a man, who sells air-plants, a form of eco-friendly gardening that does not require soil.
"It was funny to see him come in there," he said. "He wanted to try it on a weekend, and he booked three spots a weekend on a monthly basis. There is always a crowd around his area."
For the future, Mr. Renninger hopes to continue to develop the outside area and create a climate-controlled area of the market.
"I have been getting a lot of inquiries about antiques, but, with the way the market currently is, there is not a place for vendors to safely leave expensive items," he said. "With a climate controlled, insulated area, there will be an availability for antiques."
Rennigners Flea Market is located at 4835 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne.
The market is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The market is the largest open-air flea market on the Space Coast.
For more information, call (321) 242-9124.