EAST VILLAGE — A 110-year-old East Village art supply shop that has counted artists like Andy Warhol and Willem de Kooning as customers is offering its first-ever “warehouse sale” as it prepares to restructure its business.
New York Central Art Supply began offering up to 50 percent in discounts on Friday to eliminate its low- and mid-level products so it can focus on more “high-quality, hard-to-find and unique” materials, said Doug Steinberg, whose family has owned the Third Avenue business since 1905.
“We’re going to get away from things you can get anywhere and only focus on stuff you can only get at New York Central Art Supply,” said Steinberg, who insisted the store was not closing, despite rumors.
“We’re just limiting our selection to a highly curated set of materials.”
Those materials includes the shop’s collection of more than 6,000 kinds of art paper from around the world, as well as custom-stretched canvases that can be made up to 20 feet tall and primed according to an artist’s specifications — something many shops in the city don’t do, Steinberg said.
The move, he said, is a response to the changing market.
Lately, chain stores like Blick Art Materials — which Steinberg called “the Walgreens of art supplies” — have lured customers away with lower prices, cutting into New York Central’s profits.
“That market has changed,” Steinberg said.
As part of the restructuring, the shop will carry fewer items — it currently has 30,000 products for sale — and give up the East 12th Street warehouse it has used since the ‘80s, he said. A “small handful” of employees have also been let go, he added.
The warehouse sale will include paints, brushes, pads and general art supplies, Steinberg said. The sale will be located at the shop’s warehouse at 130 E. 12th St. and run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday until June 20.