Sherwin-Williams to shutter Athol store

  • Sherwin-Williams announced it would be closing its Athol store on Friday, Aug. 21. Staff Photo/Greg Vine

Published: 8/16/2020 2:40:41 PM
Modified: 8/16/2020 2:40:37 PM

ATHOL – There will soon be another hole in Athol’s traditional retail core. The Sherwin-Williams store at Lord Pond Plaza is scheduled to close its doors for good on Friday, Aug. 21.

Julie Young, Vice President of Global Corporate Communications for the Cleveland-based company told the Athol Daily News in an exchange of emails that the Athol store opened for business in July 1979.

Young said the closure “is part of the company’s ongoing review of business operations. The Athol store has been underperforming for some time. The company continues to invest in store locations in other areas throughout the state.”

The impact on employment, she said, would be negligible.

“The regular store staffing consists of a Manager, Assistant Manager, and one and a half part-time employees, based upon seasonality. In the past few months, the store had some open positions that were not filled. The remaining employees are being offered positions in other locations in the region.”

Once the Fortune 500 company closes its Athol location, the nearest Sherwin-Williams stores will be in Greenfield and Fitchburg, and in Keene, New Hampshire. Young said the closure is not part of any nationwide consolidation.

“This is the only store closing in the area,” she explained, “and is based on a review of store operations, profitability and future growth potential. The Athol store is considered part of the Company’s Boston District, in which we have opened 11 new stores in the last five years and we expect to open two more stores in the next few years.”

“It’s always unfortunate when we see a business close,” said Town Manager Shaun Suhoski. “I’m not really surprised by that. In our last lease negotiation, I understood the store was not performing as well as they had hoped.”

Suhoski explained that the building occupied by Sherwin-Williams is owned by the town of Athol.

“Our lease runs through the spring of 2021m” he said. “So, they have indicated they are going to honor that lease. They actually had requested a reduction in rent the last go-around on the lease negotiations, and we accommodated them part way to facilitate them and see if they could persevere, but apparently they’re not able to.

“Any time you lose a business that’s been around for a long time, it’s never good.”

Sherwin-Williams was founded in 1866 by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams. It boasts almost 4,800 store locations globally, with more than 61,000 employees. According to the company’s 2019 annual report, Sherwin-Williams earned more than $1.5 billion on nearly $18 billion in net sales last fiscal year.

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