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Saturday August 15, 2020
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Last Call at Treasure Mart

The pandemic derailed a planned sale.

by Micheline Maynard

From the July, 2020 issue

Fans of the Treasure Mart have until Aug. 1 to make their final purchases. That's when Elaine and Carl Johns plan to close the beloved antiques consignment store in Kerrytown.

The reason is her health. Elaine was diagnosed in 2018 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease.

Although she worked until the state locked down in March, she is now unable to come into the store, Carl says. Her illness also puts her at high risk if she contracts Covid-19.

"She can't work anymore, and I need to be home" to help care for her, he says.

The Johnses put the store and real estate up for sale in February. Carl says they got an offer from a buyer who would have operated the shop and lived next door, in a home that is part of the deal. But when the pandemic hit, "they pulled out," he says.

The property is still for sale, and Carl hopes another potential buyer will act quickly. "They need to really move," he says.

In the meantime, they're complying with the state's recommendations for retail stores: limiting the number of customers in the store at one time, asking patrons to wear masks and observe social distancing, and installing transparent plastic panels at the cash registers.

Business was brisk on June 16, the first day it reopened after shutdown. "We're going to try to sell what we can," Carl says. "We're also asking [consigners] if they want to come in and get their stuff."

In a June message, the store announced that "starting July 6, remaining items will be marked down 50 per cent. Any items remaining after July 20th will be reduced at Treasure Mart's discretion. After August 1st, any remaining items will be donated to the organization of Treasure Mart's choice."

The Johnses had hoped to hold a closing party that would allow customers to take a last look around and say goodbye, but the danger from the virus has scuttled that idea. "That would not be healthy for [Elaine], and I don't think she could take it" emotionally, Carl says.

Instead, he may ask customers to record voice messages and send them to the store, so he can play them for her. "That would be nice," he says.

The Treasure Mart, 529 Detroit St., (734) 662-1363. Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Closed Sun. treasuremart.com     (end of article)

 



 
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