EduComp in Vineyard Haven is closing down after serving the Island community for the past 40 years.
According to a post Monday on the classic Island art and office supply store’s Facebook page, the store is being forced to close due to the combination of sales lost to the internet and the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner Dorothy Gregory wrote in an email that the store will start a sale on Oct. 1 to try and sell as much out of the building as possible.
“Everything is for sale. Store fixtures, used office furniture, and maybe other things we think of as we go along,” Gregory wrote. She added that the building is going to be put on the market.
Gregory wrote that sales had been steadily decreasing in-store due to large amounts of supplies being purchased online, and then the pandemic hit.
“Our decision to close our store was not easy to make. Whenever a ‘real’ store closes, there is bound to be an impact on the community. Our sales have been steadily decreasing for years now due to online competition,” she wrote.
In 2014, Dorothy’s husband, Francis (“Pat”) Gregory, was shot and killed while on a hiking trip in California.
Pat was also a longtime West Tisbury town moderator. The search for his killer is ongoing.
“Pat and I so enjoyed running EduComp together. He was in charge of the technical division, and I handled the retail store. It was like our third child. We had well-refined roles, which I think made it easier for us to work together every day,” Gregory wrote. “Many, many hours were spent envisioning how we wanted EduComp to be, and we were very proud of what we had created together.”
A specific closing date has not yet been set for the in-store location. A sign at the store announces a “retirement sale.”
“After long consideration and with a heavy heart, the time is coming soon for us to permanently close the doors of our EduComp retail store,” a Facebook post stated. “Sadly it is no longer possible for us to stay in business and serve this community that we love.”
The post thanks all customers and Island community members for their patronage and support over the years. “We will miss seeing your familiar faces and helping you with your office and art needs. It has been our pleasure to assist you and welcome you into our store,” the post reads.
EduComp’s technical department will continue to operate and support the store’s service contract clients, which include more than 100 Island businesses; however, they are not able to service walk-in repairs, according to the post. Dorothy wrote that the demand for technical support services has outpaced the store’s ability to recruit highly trained staff, so they are always looking for new hires to support their technical support team.
More than 50 people commented on the Facebook post to share kind words, stories about EduComp, and their sadness now that the store is closing.
Kim Hilliard commented on the post, saying, “I will miss the store and the people so much! Thank you for staying open as long as you have, and providing such a needed service to the community. With a little humor — I’ve been buying my day planners there every year for 20-plus years. Maybe, being the crazy year 2020, this means I won’t be needing a day planner past this year anymore?”
Patrice Donofrio wrote, “I am heartbroken that the store will close. I will miss it terribly. It’s been such a mainstay in town, the staff is wonderful, and my heart is broken over this news.”