Delray’s ‘The Big Apple’ Shopping Bazaar Undergoes Renovation To Become Mini-Mall


Staff report

Delray Beach’s “The Big Apple” Shopping Bazaar, Jewelry Exchange and Salon & Spa has a new look.

The flea market has been rebranded into a mini-mall after a $5.5 million renovation inside over the past several years. And soon the outside will match the interior.

The parking lot, landscaping and exterior are being revamped. Soon, the outside will feature life-size, acrylic murals that are illuminated by LED lights.

The family owned business has been open since 1971 and is looking to expand its offerings.

“The key is to be a one-stop-shop,” newly appointed VP of Business Development & Marketing for The Big Apple Chad Ruggiere said.

For Ruggiere that means adding more vendors appealing for all ages as well as a new jewelry exchange and salon & spa suites.

“People want to touch, taste and feel again,” he said about the shopping experience.

So, he wants to create a place where people of all ages can come and find what they are looking for from luxury sunglasses to jewelry and even get a spa treatment while they are in.

In doing so, he said he is moving away from the “flea market” image the Big Apple was previously known for and turning the 35,000-square-foot building into an elevated mall like atmosphere.

Inside, you are transported into a Disney-esque main street of New York City lined with vendors.

To attract more tenants to the revamped space, The Big Apple is offering three months of summer rent for free for new merchants who sign a minimum year lease.

“We don’t just give them keys and say good luck,” he said. “We want to turn and build this into a community.”

The Big Apple team built an in-house IT Department and  a Sales & Marketing Division so that they can help ensure the success of the merchants. The internal teams help the merchants build and market their brand via social media with content, posting, and videos as well as designing and creating websites and landing pages.

“What we are doing, no one else is doing,” he said. “We want people to leave with a great experience and to tell their friends about it.”