By Traci Moyer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — No date has been set for the official closing of The Shed.
That's because the owners say they don't know how long it will take to liquidate their merchandise.
"We've never gone out of business before," said Debra Masterson.
For almost 41 years the Mastersons have been providing fashionable and trendy clothing for local shoppers. The store originally sold clothing for men and women, but it quickly progressed into men's suits and shoes.
"We had new and edgy things for sale," Wayne Masterson said."They were novelty items that you can't find without being in a big city."
He said he knew for some time that he would be closing the business, but did not make a final decision until August.
"I turn 62 this month and I wanted to wake up and do something else," Wayne Masterson said.
Many people say they are upset they will be losing the Mastersons' business.
"It's going to be sorely missed," said Jonathan Jackson of Anderson. "We don't have any other stores like this. It is ethnically appealing."
Jackson said Wayne Masterson always went out of his way to order specialty items and gave repeat customers discounts.
"You can't get that a Walmart," he said. "Walmart is not personal."
Larry Abrom, Sr. said he has been shopping frequently at the store to collect as much merchandise as possible.
"It's too bad he had to close," he said.
In 1973, Wayne Masterson started his business in downtown Anderson on the corner of 11th and Main streets. As his business grew, he branched out into the neighboring communities of Muncie and Marion. In the 80s, he decided to incorporate everything back into one location beneath his trademark store, which is painted bright yellow with bold, black lettering and located at 509 S. Scatterfield Road.
The 90s were the most exciting time to be in retail, Wayne Masterson said.
"That was probably our fastest pace in our 41 years," he said. "There have always been trends to follow, even in the 70s and 80s. But in the 90s — those were the good years."
Five employees will lose their jobs with the store's closing, including two family members — Ryan Masterson, his son, and his wife Debra Masterson.
"By the time we leave, I will have worked here 20 years," Ryan Masterson said. "I have never worked anywhere else."
But Ryan Masterson said he is not worried about his future.
Wayne Masterson said he knew his son had no plans to carry on the family business.
"Today, with the cost of business — I own the building and do a lot of the sewing — that all eats into the bottom line and it's no secret that the economy has been tough," he said.
Wayne Masterson said he as a few interested parties in buying or leasing his building. The building has been a butcher shop, a tax service and a beauty salon through the years, offering an ideal location for business along Scatterfield Road.
"The building will probably not be yellow in the future," he said with a laugh.
Father and son were working together in the store this week and reminisced about some of the funny memories they had made over the years.
There was the time a shoplifter was tackled in a neighboring parking lot and then there were the women who stole merchandise from one of Masterson's locations, only to stop in afterward to shop at the Scatterfield Road location.
"One of the other stores called up and said they had been ripped off real bad," Wayne Masterson said. "The manager at that time was Bill Jackson and he was talking to the other store when the girls came in. While they were inside, he went out and stole our merchandise back.
"When the girls left they were looking all around and then they looked up at him. He waved."
The men laughed about the story and all the good times they have had working in Anderson.
The Mastersons said they will continue to live locally where they have friends and family.
Saying goodbye to the friends and acquaintances Wayne Masterson has made through his business is one of the things he said he is not looking forward to doing.
"That will be the hardest part," he said. "I can't thank them or the city of Anderson enough for their loyalty and friendliness."
Wayne Masterson said he did have advice for those looking to opening their own retail business.
"Don't do it unless you love it," he said. "Don't do it for a hobby. You have to love it."
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More information The Shed is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located at 509 S. Scatterfield Road in Anderson. Currently the merchandise being sold is offered at a 20 to 50 percent discount. The owners estimate they will have liquidated all of their merchandise by early 2014. To contact the store, call 643-2605.