Zandbroz goes vintage as it goes online

Story by Brianna Brickweg, MSUM English/Mass Communications

Photos by Kathryn Anderson, MSUM Broadcast and Photo Journalism

Vintage pens at Zandbroz add variety to the store.

Zandbroz Variety now sells vintage pens on Etsy.com.

The Etsy page, Zandbroz Vintage opened six months ago.

Greg Danz own the Fargo Zandbroz. His brother, Jeff, works at the Sioux Falls Zandbroz. Jeff buys vintage pens at estate sales and as auctions. Jeff repairs the pens to working condition.

“We’re doing more and more of that even mixed in with the store,” Greg Danz said. “We like old stuff as much as new stuff and we started mixing in more and more.”

Zandbroz sells vintage pens in the downtown store.

Zandbroz keeps a limited Web presence

Zandbroz has just begun experimenting with online selling. The store sells a limited number of items via its website but most online purchases end up taking place over the phone.

“We don’t make a real big effort to sell online,” Danz said, “but a lot of times we’ll get people who have been in our store who live in other places across the country.”

How using the Internet works for Zandbroz

Danz thinks online selling works well for vintage items, especially items that are large, for example old maps from schools.  The reason is because it’s difficult to display these large items in the store.

Zandbroz’s patrons are encouraged to check both on and offline for the entire selection.

Zandbroz’s pen selection in the store is not representative of the online selection.

Zandbroz is the same store Fargo has always known

For those who may become worried Zandbroz will disappear from Broadway and become an online store, never fear. Danz loves his store too much.

“We’re real attached to the physical store but I would say it’s something we’re learning more about,” Danz said. “I would say we’ll keep expanding it as we have time and energy and knowledge.”

Zandbroz experiences other changes

One change to prove the physical store is going nowhere is the addition of used books.

Zandbroz has turned its former soda shop, Dakota Soda, into a used book section of the store.

The renovation is still a work-in-progress.

The soda shop closed in 2009 during the flood. Zandbroz had to be closed entirely for two weeks and the manager of the soda shop was leaving a month later, so Greg Danz, the owner of Zandbroz, never re-opened it.

Danz has been preparing the used book section for about six months to a year.

Always aesthetically-pleasing

Zandbroz may be experimenting with the Internet but the store is still a strong presence downtown, known for its artistic, ever-changing thematic décor. The store is currently decorated in a spring theme, using Lucky Charms shapes in the windows.

Danz’s wife, Renee, an artist, designs the window displays at Zandbroz.

Danz finds it important to continue the unique look inside Zandbroz for two reasons: One, it draws people in, and, two, new shoppers mean Danz gets to meet great people.

The people drawn into the store make life interesting for the people who work at Zandbroz.

Greg Danz finds creative pieces draw people into the store.

“That’s why we’re downtown.” Danz said. “That’s why we do what we do. If I had to go out to the mall every day, I’d shoot myself. This is fun for us because we get to use our own creativity and imagination. We enjoy that personal relationship with (customers). In a lot of ways, it’s a way of putting what we like to do out in front of people and making a living at the same time.”

Danz loves doing it downtown

Greg Danz loves having a store downtown and loves the creativity within the downtown community.

 

Originally, Danz and his brother Jeff opened Zandbroz in 1989 because they like old buildings and think downtowns are important to communities.

“That’s been part of the fun of being downtown,” Greg Danz said. “We got to be part of the growth of downtown. I’m real proud of our downtown here. It’s comes a long ways in 20 years since we’ve been here.”

 

Zandbroz has a toll-free numbers for online purchases:

-       1-800-808-4833 for Fargo.

-       1-800-352-6697 for Sioux Falls

 

(Edited by Matthew Liedke, MSUM journalism major)

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