Pearl of the East going out of business

September 23, 2009 6:52:46 AM PDT
For 40 years, shoppers looking to bring a taste of the Orient into their homes have found treasures at the Pearl of the East in Center City.

But owner Warren Kuo has decided to close the store. Though he's ready to take things a little easier, mainly he's closing because the market for his luxury antiques and reproductions has all but disappeared.

"My problem," Kuo explains, "is that I don't have anything that people need. I only have things people want. So with this economy, it's totally discretionary. I'm discounted out right away."

To start the liquidation sale, Kuo has cut prices up to 50%. But there have been some previous markdowns as well.

He showed us a carved wooden screen that in years past, would've sold for up to $5000. Now, it's priced at $1800.

"This screen dates back to the 1800s," Kuo explains, "It's carved, hand-carved and it's double-sided carving. It's really precious work and it has really high collectible value."

A bar that was $1495, is now $799. A stacking table set that was $395 is now $199. An ornamental birdcage that was $349 is on sale for $199.

You can pick up an ornate jewelry armoire that was $595 for $329. And handmade silk Tonkas are now $99, reduced from $150.

Pearl of the East is located at 1720 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pa. It is open seven days a week.

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