Updated 03/12/2013 10:58 PM
Upstairs Basement closes down after more than 40 years
A Lee landmark closes down after nearly four decades of business. YNN's Madeleine Rivera talked to the owner about what it was like to run a business in the Berkshires since the 70s.
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LEE, Mass. -- "We tried very hard to make it work. But we just couldn't," said Frederick Clayson.
The owner of Upstairs Basement on Main Street in Lee says this is a bittersweet moment.
"People would rather buy new than used items," said Clayson.
He's closed down his consignment store. Now, he and a few volunteers are clearing out the rest of inventory.
Clayson's been the owner of this store since 2009. He took over after his mother died. She opened Upstairs Basement in the 70s.
"She wanted to have a store where people could cosign and make money and buy clothing cheaper than in malls," Clayson.
But after years of poor sales, he's had no choice but to shut down operations.
"We tried different things. We just haven't been able to make a profit, by a long shot," he said.
From vinyl records to suits, Upstairs Basement sold a variety of different things. But for some customers, it's not the items that they found that they'll miss. It's the memories.
"I'm going to miss this place. It's more than just a store. It's a community center almost. You come, you meet people that you see around town," said Myron Hood, a family friend and store customer.
"I know we tried our hardest. I can look in the mirror and say that I've tried my hardest," said Clayson.
Berkshire Housing Development Corporation owns the property. They'll determine what will occupy the space in the future. Clayson's last day in the building is March 15th.