Staples pops into the picture at Glenwood Springs Mall |

Staples pops into the picture at Glenwood Springs Mall

Hoes and chicks will soon be replaced by Palm Pilots and laptops at the former location of Country General in West Glenwood when Staples moves in.

Staples spokeswoman Sharyn Frankel and Glenwood Springs Mall manager Linda White confirmed Thursday that Staples will soon begin remodeling the building. They expect the superstore to open sometime in August.

“It’s a done deal,” White said. “The anchor store will be Staples and there will be two to three other retail outlets.”

Country General, a national chain that sold home, garden, ranching and sporting goods – as well as live chicks – closed several months ago as part of a move by its parent corporation, Quality Stores, to close 133 stores nationwide.

Staples, on the other hand, carries office furniture, computers, software, business machines, a wide selection of teaching supplies and general office supplies, the news release said.

In addition, the store will offer payroll processing, telecommunications, Internet, shipping services and self-serve copiers.

White said Staples will be the anchor tenant for the building, but the 39,000-square-foot space will be divided for two or three other stores.

The lease for the Glenwood Springs Staples is signed and it will be one of three Staples to open in Colorado this year, a press release said. The other two will be built in Colorado Springs.

The store is expected to employ about 30 people, the Staples news release said.

Staples Inc. launched the office supplies superstore industry with the opening of its first store in Brighton, Mass., in May 1986 and since then has turned into an $11 billion retailer. The typical Staples superstore is about 24,000 square feet.

Local office supply and copy shop employees and owners reacted to the news.

“We’re not too concerned because we have a loyal clientele base,” said Mike Husaluk, who owns Sandy’s Office Supply with his wife, Barbara. The couple is on the verge of opening a new Sandy’s outlet in Glenwood Springs.

“In a nutshell, the consumer is not necessarily getting a better value in a place like that,” he said. “We’ve always felt a big box coming in is inevitable, but it hasn’t stopped us.”

Husaluk used Grand Junction’s office supply business climate as an example. He said even though there are two large corporate office supply stores in the city, Valley Office Supply is thriving.

“The industry has shown that independents have prospered in the last few years, while big boxes have not,” Husaluk said. “Our perception is to just move ahead and not be afraid of it. I’d rather have a box that I can watch than an independent like me who works a little harder.”

Kevin Binns, owner of Top Drawer Office Supplies and Furniture, expressed some apprehension, but agreed that quality service will keep the little guys in business.

“It’s still going to hurt all of us,” he said. “But I have a feeling they’ll be like the other stores and will close up after a certain time.”

Parking in the downtown core could become even more of an issue for his business with the coming of a retail giant. But after the novelty of the store wears off, Binns said he thinks people will still shop at the locally-owned shops.

“I’ve heard it affects you maybe the first six months,” he said.

Leslie Robinson, commercial saleswoman for Copy Copy on Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs, said she has a motto for such situations.

“When the going gets tough, the tough excel in customer service,” Robinson said. “We won’t win the price wars, but we can win with great customer service.”

She said the smaller businesses have to offer something the bigger stores can’t.

“You’ve got to play smarter. We all are going to have to be on our toes,” Robinson said.

Copy Copy manager Rose Backhaus said she’s confident her staff will keep customers coming in.

“We have a very versatile and competent staff,” she said. “I think the customers who have been loyal for years will continue to support us.”

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