Office Outfitters Closes After 30 Years | Venice Gondolier Sun
VENICE – Office Outfitters will close its location on Venice Avenue by the end of June.
“After 30 years we had a very good race. We both thought it was a tough decision, but it was about time, ”said Kevin McCloud, owner of Office Outfitters.
McCloud and his right-hand man Ron Simon, who has worked for the store for 20 years, said that after years of doing everything in the store on their own, with a little help here and there, they decided to take of hindsight.
McCloud and Simon said they take care of everything from when they buy the items to their delivery to customers.
“We have a lot of when we deliver ‘Are you alone? You can not do that? Simon said. “’Yeah, watch us do it,’” he added.
Due to the amount of work required for the job, both said it was difficult to keep going without the help of reliable, full-time young employees.
“We had moments of tears in the discussions and when that came true was when the sign was put up,” McCloud said.
McCloud has owned the business since 2002, but has worked for Office Outfitters for 26 years. He said he was proud of the type of store he offers customers.
“The mom-and-pop idea is really the real meaning of this business,” Simon said. “We go out of our way for people, we do whatever it takes and you won’t get that in the super stores.”
The store offers new and used office supplies, from desks and bookcases to chairs and filing cabinets. While the store originally sold second-hand items, over the years they have evolved to offer more new items, McCloud said.
“Profit was definitely in the second hand case, but there is always a need for things to match,” McCloud said.
Simon said people come for the good quality and personalized customer service they provide.
They even take the time to educate clients on the quality of an office and what to look for in a good office, Simon said.
“Our customer service has always been top notch because you are dealing with the owner, not a salesperson,” McCloud said.
Due to their service, Simon said they have had great success over the years and have many repeat customers.
While the store is based in Venice, McCloud said he has had business along the coast, from Palmetto to Fort Myers.
One of their biggest corporate clients has been PGT Custom Windows and Doors. McCloud said PGT continued to work with them due to their experiences with McCloud and Simon.
McCloud said their contact at PGT went into panic mode when they learned the store was closing.
McCloud said he informed repeat customers of the closing and that their clearance sales were in progress.
Like PGT, he said a lot of people panicked and started buying as much as they could.
But McCloud said they may not be done with the business yet. He said that while the current location will close, they plan to start an online store and focus only on new office supplies instead of used ones.
“After 30 years, it’s hard to totally say we’re done,” McCloud said. “We are struggling with this.”