KENT COUNTY (WZZM) - Plainfield Lumber & Hardware in Grand Rapids abruptly closed Friday after being opened for 67 years.
The owners haven't told us why, but we do know they were behind $28,000 in taxes, according to county records.
Plainfield Lumber proceeds Meekhof Lumber in Cascade Township which is also closing in June. We talked with one of the last standing long-time local lumber businesses to tell us what is behind this trend.
Standale Lumber & Supplies has been around almost as long as Plainfield Lumber & Hardware. "60 years...a milestone," said Standale's Tom Muenzenmeyer. But news of their big competitor closing up shop, isn't welcome. "It does worry everybody."
"The biggest competition that has obviously happened is the big box." Muenzenmeyer is talking about places like Low's and Home Depot.
"It's absolutely about adapting if you're going to survive." Muenzenmeyer and his co-workers try offering what the big guys can't. "We do whatever it takes to satisfy each and every customer that walks through our door."
No idea is a bad one; adding services like plumbing and electrical, and spending more on gas to serve more than just West Michigan. "We'll go where ever we need to," and so far, it's working. "Last year is the best year we've had in some time, and this year is already starting out the same way...we expect to gas another 60 years."
Muenzenmeyer says local lumber business problems are still thanks to the recession. Just because business ways probably improving for them too, he believes it just wasn't picking up quick enough to make up for lost time.