Eisenhauer Flea Market plans facelift post-lawsuit

Vendors report sagging sales after Louis Vuitton case

Published On: Sep 05 2012 05:55:15 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 05 2012 06:43:19 PM CDT

Located inside an aging retail center, the Eisenhauer Road Flea Market is about to undergo a facelift inside and out, according to Angie Butler, its spokeswoman, in hopes regaining the business it lost after its owner was sued.

Last January, Louis Vuitton, the iconic French fashion house, won a $3.6 million dollar judgment over the sale of counterfeit goods that Butler said is now settled.

“We did not benefit from the Louis Vuitton sales. It was strictly the vendors,” Butler said.

But it was Bruce Gore, an Atlanta-based contractor, the flea market owner for seven years, who said he feared he’d have to file bankruptcy after the jury’s decision.

Yet nine months later, during the first weekend in October, a two-day festival will be held at the flea market, Butler said.

“We invite other vendors to come in. We’ll have some entertainment those two days,” Butler said. “We want to invite everyone in the community to come out and support us.”

Vendors like William Jones said in the wake of the lawsuit, they need the customers.

Jones, who said he sells officially licensed sports souvenirs, said he lost 50 percent of his business.

He said he’d get 10 calls a day, “'Hey, are you guys open? Are you guys still there since the Louis Vuitton thing happened?'”       

Lettie Salazar Hampton said it was distressing to know her mother-in-law, Sue, a longtime vendor, could have lost her livelihood if the flea market had shut down.

She said, “You’ve got to pick it back up and start over again, which is good because I think people realize those things can’t be sold here.”

Butler said the owner made the mistake then of giving vendors “second chances” to stop selling fake designer goods.

She said not only are they on the look-out, the public is asked to report any counterfeit items to the market’s management.

“We want to be notified,” Butler said. “That vendor will be evicted immediately.”

For a list of recent stories Jessie Degollado has done, click here.