The retail operations of The Office City in downtown Los Banos are closing down with a fire sale.
Normal store hours at the office supply and furniture business at 939 Sixth St. ended Friday, manager Rhonda Lowe said to The Enterprise.
But Lowe said she still will be selling off inventory at slashed prices.
The Office City is an online-based business with operating locations in Hayward, Mariposa, Merced, Richmond and Stockton.
The company bought Connell Stationery from building owner Rusty Connell nine years ago to form the Los Banos branch, Lowe said. While The Office City is an online-based business, the company kept the retail store operations of the existing business and maintained it.
The Los Banos location is known for providing spur-of-the-moment office supplies that were available for people who couldn’t wait for next day delivery through the online service, Lowe said.
These items included copy and faxing services and a variety of inks for printers, as well as office furniture.
However, the company recently decided the retail end of the Los Banos location was too much of a deviation from its core operations, Lowe said, adding that it has been very successful with its focus on online service.
“The main reason (for the closure) is it doesn’t really fit in with the business model of The Office City,” Lowe said. “With online ordering and personal one-on-one service, it’s too difficult to make the retail operation work.”
While Lowe will continue as an online salesperson at a smaller yet-to-be-determined location in the city, she said one store position will be cut as a result of the change. That employee has already found another job.
Connell didn’t return a request for comment Friday about what’s in store for the building after The Office City leaves.
Lowe said the store is selling off its inventory with big discounts, including many desks, chairs, file cabinets and storage cabinets. Store fixtures may also be available.
“We’re trying to clear out as much of our furniture and office supplies as can go,” Lowe said. “We’re making all kinds of deals.”