NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Yard Sale in Newport News is hoping for a small Christmas miracle as sales remain sluggish and they face an uncertain future.
The family-owned thrift store located at 9501 Warwick Blvd. has been struggling to survive during COVID-19. Like so many other small businesses, the 11-year-old second-hand shop has been hit hard by the pandemic.
“There weren’t enough customers to pay the light bill,” said Brian Mayberry, the owner of The Yard Sale.
Though the store is now offering 20% off purchases until Christmas Eve, sales are still down 60% a month.
Mayberry fears he may soon have to make a painful decision to permanently close.
“We’re not in a position where we’re on the edge of closing, but we can see that happening very soon,” he said.
The Yard Sale bookkeeper Martha Mayberry added, “We’re teetering.”
The Mayberrys said they’ve applied for federal aid but didn’t qualify because they don’t have enough employees. Now that Congress has agreed on a second COVID-19 relief bill, they’re waiting to see if that could help.
“I’m keeping an eye out,” said Martha Mayberry.
Brian and Martha Mayberry said they’ve had to dig into their own pockets just to keep the lights on, and now their savings are running dry.
“We don’t have much of a savings anymore,” Martha Mayberry.
Facing dire circumstances, the owners said they had to do something they’ve never done before – reach out for help. They sent News 3 a letter asking to shine a light with the hopes of bringing more customers to their doors.
“We’ve never reached out for help,” said Brian Mayberry. “We’ve never asked for help, but we’re at a point where we have to. It’s very hard. We’re very prideful.”
The Yard Sale is brimming with antiques, furniture, toys dating back to the 1920s and other unique collectibles.
“This is a goat-powered butter turn,” said Brian Mayberry.
Brian Mayberry said he’s been a collector since the age of 10, and he’s not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
“We’re not giving up hope,” he said.
Martha Mayberry agreed.
“We’re going to fight to the end,” she said.
To help, The Yard Sale has set up a GoFundMe.