The economy has hurt — a lot. Customer numbers plummeted from 2,000 in one week down to a trickle of only a few hundred.
“We’re just not really there anymore,” Burke said. “We’ve done what we can. Big-box stores are taking what used to be the backbone of America.”
With the retail store closing, Burke said he would focus more on his wholesale/auction business, using the current store space for an expanded business in that direction.
He will continue to do auctions and offer more of an online presence.
Burke said his store and its employees have been a family. But, in recent years, staff numbers have dropped from about 31 down to seven employees at the moment.
He said he would utilize staffers for any of his auction and wholesale ventures once the store closed.
“I want to try and keep everybody working,” he said.”
Burke said he can only look forward to what lies ahead.
“We’re on a journey, we raised this business like a child and it’s been like a family to us,” Burke said. “We’ve crawled, we’ve walked, but so many things are out of our hands. They just don’t come to the party anymore.”