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The office supply, packaging and paper company xpedx is closing its Salt Lake City and Orem retail stores on Nov. 30.
All inventory is being sold at 50 percent off while supplies last.
The company's warehouse at 1635 S. 5070 West and distribution center at 2962 S. State St. in Salt Lake City will remain in operation.
Spokeswoman Lisa H. Jester said the two retail stores, which stock seasonal and party supplies, "represent a very small part of the xpedx business. The vast majority [of what we do] is our business-to-business service," including distribution of packaging, office and printing supplies.
Seven employees will be laid off in the closures, said Jester. About 150 employees work in the firm's other Utah operations.
News reports have said xpedx, based in Cincinnati, has already closed its facilities in Canada. In addition, the company said on its Facebook page in January that it plans to close all of its U.S. retail outlets in a move to realign the company. The entry did not indicate how many stores or employees would be impacted.
"This means we will transition away from our store business model to servicing customers from xpedx's well-established distribution network," said the Facebook entry. "We will also open 'mini-merchant' locations based in some of the country's top digital print markets. While this is the right decision for xpedx overall, it will lead to the closing of our stores division, which will unfortunately affect many talented and dedicated team members."
Jester said that shuttering the Utah outlets are the last of the store closures and consolidations.
Shopper Cindy Strong said no other store matches the inventory at xpedx. The Salt Lake City woman was filling a shopping cart Tuesday with tiny boxes for her homemade chocolates that she'll give out as holiday gifts and with an assortment of packaging and party goods.
"I'm stocking up, but there'll be no place else to go when this store closes," she said."This is a one-stop kind of store."
Jonathan Hall, who operates a wholesale gift company in Park City, said he regularly shops at xpedx and was sad "that the employees are being laid off so close to the holidays."
The company is a division of International Paper, one of the largest business-to-business distribution companies in North America.
International Paper's roots date to the early 19th century, according to the company's website. International Paper entered the distribution business in 1986 with the acquisition of several longtime merchant companies, and in 1998 created xpedx.
Store locations to close Nov. 30
Salt Lake City • 49 E. 3300 South
Orem • 1786 S. State Street
Closing sale • All items are 50 percent off while supplies last
Hours • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday