Archive for December, 2011
Here are the latest companies that registered to do business in Bellingham (Dec. 21-27). Most registrations are new companies to Bellingham, but some registrations are changes of ownership/address:
Birchwood Automotive Center, Boogey’s Automotive Inc., 1601 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham
Blue Ribbon Steel Buildings, 335 E Blackburn Road, Mount Vernon
Whatcom Pedicab Authority, Michael P Geerts, 60345 State Route 20, Marblemount
Puget Sound Utility Services, 690 Reanna Place, Burlington
Muse Design Studio, Desirae L Hill, 1119 N State St #301, Bellingham
Sacred Time, Totally Divine Video Editing L103 E Holly St #407, Bellingham
I received a call back from Christina Waterhouse, a regional manager from Paper Zone, who gave me a few more details about the closure of the eight stores in Washington and Oregon, including Bellingham. Here’s a (link) to the earlier post.
Here’s an update:
– The Bellingham store will remain open until the inventory is sold or through Tuesday, Jan. 31, whichever happens first. It will have normal store hours.
– The company had 67 employees, while Bellingham had six.
Waterhouse said company sales had been dropping by 6-to-8 percent annually and the company simply couldn’t sustain those loses.
“We tried to weather the (economic) storm,” Waterhouse said. “If the economy was different, maybe we would have a different story. It’s sad because we know we have customers that love our stores.”
Sears Holdings Co., which recently announced it was closing around 120 Sears and Kmart stores, released a partial list of what will be shuttered.
The Bellingham Sears at Bellis Fair and the Kmart in Sunset Square are not on the list.
The release lists 79 stores slated for closure. In Washington, a Sears store in Walla Walla and a Kmart in Lacey were on the list.
The release said the company will update the list when more information becomes available.
Paper Zone, a paper and craft company, is closing all eight of its stores in Washington and Oregon.
The company announced a closing business sale on its website and Facebook page, offering a 30 percent off its products. The company has a store at 915 Iowa St. (near Dairy Queen) in Bellingham, as well as in Bellevue, Tukwila, Shoreline and Seattle.
An employee at the Bellingham store referred inquiries to a regional manager, who did not immediately return a phone message about how long the sale will last. The stores sell 440 different types of paper as well as 130 different adhesive products, according to its website (link).
The company originally started in 1970 as Paper Pickup; the names of the stores were changed to Paper Zone in 1992. The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2007, keeping much of its senior management and workforce intact.
According to its website, store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Here’s a news release from the Bellingham Public Market, which has scheduled a grand opening event for three businesses:
Three new businesses in the Bellingham Public Market will be joining forces to throw a combined grand opening party. The businesses are Trapeze, Carmen’s and Mount Baker Books. There will be free food and beverage samples, live circus performances, and special discounts.
Oxbo, which has a manufacturing facility in Lynden, has one of its products featured at the upcoming 2012 World Ag Expo, taking place in February in Tulare, Calif.
The Oxbo 9120 is a raspberry harvester featured on the Top Ten New Products list for the expo.
The raspberry harvester was designed to mechanically harvest high-quality fruit such as IQF grade raspberries. Oxbo product specialists and design engineers met with berry growers and collected extensive feedback before, during, and after the design process to ensure that the 9120 delivered what the industry required, according to a company news release.
The 9120 features a unibody frame design for easy loading and unloading of fruit. It also features a tight turning ra-dius for infield maneuverability, 23-inches of harvester lift, high road speed, ample room for onboard fruit and flat storage, and an economical engine.
Designed and built at Oxbo’s manufacturing facility in Lynden, the 9120 was successfully prototyped in 2011 and is now available for sale around the world. For information, visit oxbocorp.com.
With the holiday shopping season nearly complete, a Fairhaven women’s clothing store is getting a fresh look for the new year.
4 Starrs Boutique is currently having an inventory liquidation sale, with many items 40 percent off through Saturday, Dec. 31. Once the liquida-tion sale is complete, the store will be closed January 1-6 to undergo a remodel, which includes painting the store at 960 Harris Ave., Suite 101. The new look will also feature an increase in products, said owner Danielle Starr. The clothing store has had a variety of designer items, and has recently been increasing its shoe selection.
“I want it to have a mini-department store feel to it,” Starr said. “The painting and facelift will give it a new spring look.”
Once open on Saturday, Jan. 7, the store will have its same regular hours, which is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Starr said she recently renewed her lease and has had a strong holiday shopping season. It came as a relief to Starr, who said the store, like many other businesses, had to tighten its budget in 2008 and 2009 to ride out the economic recession.
“It was difficult, but we found a way to grow out of it,” Starr said.
For details about the store, call 360-647-8953.
From the Washington State Employment Security Department:
After two record-setting years, the number of Washington workers receiving unemployment benefits – and the amount they received – shrank in 2011.
An estimated 440,000 people received benefits in 2011, a 12 percent drop from the all-time record of 503,000 in 2010. In 2009, 470,231 individuals collected jobless benefits.
BizBlog is back after spending the morning catching up on last week’s emails/phone messages. I’ll post a variety of items this afternoon, but for now I wanted to get in quick note about Sears’ announcement that it is closing up to 120 Sears and Kmart stores.
Here’s a (link) to a Bloomberg story with some of the details, including the poor showing during the holiday shopping season. The company hasn’t announced which stores will be closing yet, but plans to sometime today on its website. Bellingham has a Sears store at Bellis Fair and a Kmart at Sunset Square.
I’ll be out of the office until Tuesday, Dec. 27. If there’s breaking business news, please contact my boss, Debbie Townsend, at email@example.com or 360-715-2280.