Cooke Stationery, one of the oldest businesses in downtown Salem, Oregon, is closing its only store next month after 88 years of operation.
The office supply store will discontinue deliveries at the end of March before shutting down completely after its last day of in-store business on April 28, according to the Statesman Journal.
The store has been serving shoppers in the area since 1935 when it was opened by James L. Cooke. It has stayed in the family ever since, but the third generation of owners has decided it’s “the right time” to close for good as the business has failed to bounce back to previous levels following the pandemic.
“It’s been a gradual decline,” Colleen Henery, who has co-owned the store with her brother since 1999, told the newspaper. “We probably stayed open longer than we should have.”
Cooke Stationery, 2023
Cooke Stationery has faced increasing competition from online retailers and big-box stores over the years. The pandemic also took a toll on its sales as many people shifted to working from home and reducing their demand for office supplies.
Henery said that they tried to adapt to the changing market by offering online ordering and delivery options, but it was not enough to sustain their business.
“We just couldn’t compete with the online prices,” she said.
Henery said that she is grateful for the support of their customers and employees over the decades. She said that closing the store is bittersweet, but she hopes that someone else will take over the space and revitalize it.
“We’ve had a lot of good memories here,” she said. “We’re going to miss our customers and our staff.”
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