News

Antiques at Mayfair owner to retire, sell shop

Thursday, April 4, 2013

BY IRENE LABOMBARDE

Staff Writer

AMHERST – Linda May, owner of the Antiques at Mayfair shop at Salzburg Square, is retiring after 22 years in business. She is hoping a buyer will step in so the shop can remain open.

“It’s breaking my heart but I have to move on with my life,” she said. “My family has grown up and scattered and I want to spend time with them. I can’t give this the time it needs. I’ve given it my heart and soul for 22 years. The people who know me and shop here know that it was a very hard decision to make.”

May rents the location but owns the business and rents space to numerous dealers who sell their wares to her customers. She provides the location, equipment and staff, but the dealers own the contents of the store. Dealers often rent space in more than one shop so they can rotate inventory. Shoppers can find everything from furniture and china to artwork and estate jewelry at Mayfair. Prior to moving to Salzburg Square, the business was housed at the antique barns on Route 101A in Amherst.

“I love the space here,” she said. “It’s pretty here, comfortable, and a lot nicer than the barns were. It’s really a beautiful store.”

She credits the dealers with contributing to the pleasant atmosphere in the shop. She said frequent visitors remark on the “classy, clean and organized” environment at Mayfair, particularly compared to other antique stores.

May has notified the landlord that she will not renew her lease June 1, and will notify her dealers in their monthly newsletter.

Despite her announcement, a new dealer was just setting up in the store, fully aware that the shop’s future is uncertain. If a new owner is not found, May anticipates there will be huge price reductions as the deadline nears.

“Some of the dealers have rooms of stuff and need a place to put it,” she explained. “May will be a very busy month.”

So far no one has come forward, and when asked, she said it was unlikely to be purchased by one of the dealers who rent space from her. The shop is open 363 days a year, closing only on Thanksgiving and Christmas. May said her dealers know what a commitment that is.

“If there was anybody in-house who wanted to own my business, they would have approached me by now,” she said. “They see how hard I work, and that I can’t call in sick. I’m always here, we’re always open the hours we say we are.”

Yet she hasn’t given up hope that the shop may continue after she retires.

“It would be nice if someone picked up the ball and ran with it, someone who loves Salzburg Square as much as I do.”

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