BRUNSWICK — After three decades of selling pianos, drums and guitars from the family music store, Lloyd Constantine was worn out and ready to retire.
So Constantine, 62, held a “going out of business” sale.
But Constantine’s Music is back in business. Its owner moved his store from the Cook’s Corner Mall to Cushing Street, and he’s fighting to stay there.
Brunswick officials have balked at whether to allow Constantine to remain in business. They noted that he took out a going-out-of-business license from the town and advertised a going-out-of-business sale in the newspapers.
Insisting that he was sincere in his intent to retire, Constantine maintains that his business is not like furniture stores and rug companies that dupe customers with a “going-out-of-business” sale that goes on for 20 years.
“Once I got retired and had a three-month break, I was fired up and ready to go,” Constantine said. He said he was forced back into business when a buyer for the store backed out at the last minute, leaving him with $80,000 worth of musical instruments.
Sales of the old inventory were so brisk, he said, he decided to buy more. That put him in violation of both state and town laws that say once a merchant gets a license to shut down and advertises a big sale, he must, in fact, shut down.
Town officials say it’s a consumer protection issue, and that while Constantine may have been sincere, the rules are clear.
“I don’t want Brunswick to be a town that has a lot of going-out-of-business sales and then people don’t go out of business,” said town councilor Faith Moll.