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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • Staples set to close in early October

  • The roads are crumbling, sequestration hit the community hard and now Staples is leaving town.
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  • The roads are crumbling, sequestration hit the community hard and now Staples is leaving town.
    It begs the question, what is Ridgecrest headed toward? Where is the good because it is hard to see right now.
    In what is being called a corporate decision, the local Staples is closing. The closure will mean the loss of 20 jobs, seven of them full-time positions. The store will close its doors Oct. 4.
    Store Manager Tammy Tuipala said she believes the closure is in the best interest of the Staples corporation. The news came down from the corporate office on Thursday, Aug. 22. Staples corporate headquarters did not return phone calls to The Daily Independent.
    Tuipala said the clientele serviced by the local Staples store included everyone from small businesses to individuals to services on the base.
    “It's disappointing,” said Nathan Ahle, CEO and president of the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to the jobs (leaving the are) is the loss of sales tax revenue.”
    Ridgecrest resident Jim Harper said in a letter that the closing of the store was going to be a "terrible loss." Harper said the business is very good for students as well as teachers and schools. He said no other business in town comes close to matching Staples' selection of school supplies.
    "It is disappointing to have this happen, but at the same time I understand the challenges big box stores face from online options," said Eric Bruen, CEO of the Desert Valleys Credit Union.
    Ahle said it is not uncommon for residents to turn to Internet shopping when a big retailer closes its doors in town. Ahle said the community needs to rally around local businesses that offer many of the same services and products that Staples offered.
    Tuipala added that there are other businesses in the community that do computer and other technology repairs that Staples did.
    Ahle expressed similar sentiments.
    “Don't assume you have to go out of town,” Ahle said. “There's probably a local small business in town that can provide the same products.”
    Bruen said there is a shift in modern culture that comes into play.
    "We have to consider how the online market has changed how we shop," Bruen said.
    Ahle added that people looking for a product or service Staples once provided call the chamber and see if one of its members can provide what the customer is looking for.
    “People would be surprised,” at what local businesses and vendors have to offer,” Ahle said. The closure could be an opportunity for the community to look to local businesses to provide for their office supply needs.
    Harper said it will be hard to find a replacement for Staples copying and fax services.
    Page 2 of 2 - There will be mark downs on items starting next week, Tuipala added.
    “It’s the end of a chapter,” Tuipala said by phone Wednesday, and she hopes to start a new one. Tuipala has 14 years of service with Staples. She said she could not speak to any details of a severance package.
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