After years of business, the Holmes Lumber Company branch located at 312 Lafayette St. in London is closing its doors.
Friday was the store’s last day.
The company’s director of marketing, Mark Ely said the branch is consolidating with the store near Plain City, 10271 State Route 161.
“I know it seems counter-intuitive to be closing stores while we’re growing, but there’s so many in Columbus it just makes sense for the sake of efficiency,” he said.
According to Ely, The Carter Lumber Company, which acquired Holmes in 2004, operates all of its branches as one large store, where customers can order products from one and pick up at another or receive deliveries up to 60 miles away from the local branch.
As the two are about 20 miles apart he said it “didn’t make sense.”
The decision to close was made about one month ago. Management at the London branch heard the news on Wednesday.
Mayor Pat Closser said he had heard of the business’ closing on Thursday.
“It’s always a sad day in London whenever a business closes,” said Closser. “It was always an asset to have them in town.”
Originally opened as a branch of Carter Lumber, the store was built in 1994, according to online records from the Madison County Auditor’s Office.
The London store was recently rebranded.
David Kell, executive director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and CIC, said he heard about the closing through word of mouth early Thursday afternoon.
“We just heard about it and we still need to determine the exact situation to move forward,” he said. “We’re going to have look over the [London] property and see what will fill the space,” he said.
Closser, a business owner himself, said he understands that it was a corporate decision. But residents should take heed of the closing.
“We understand this was a business decision,” he said, “but the people of London need know we need to take care of our businesses. I always say, buy local, shop London and patronize our businesses.”
All of the London store’s stock will be transferred to other locations based on inventory needs while the employees will be transferred over to the Plain City location.
“We’re a family-owned company since 1932, it’s very important for us,” said Ely. “The grandson of the founder runs the company. He always wants us to make sure we take care of people.”
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.