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Old 03-12-2011, 05:11 AM   #1
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A Little Birdie Told Me Berwick Ribbon Outlet Closes

My former boss is from Berwick and shared this news with me yesterday. Sad.

Offray outlet suddenly shuts
By SUSAN SCHWARTZ
Press Enterprise Writer
BRIAR CREEK Berwick Offray's outlet store, which supplied crafters, brides and others with yards of inexpensive ribbon and wrappings, suddenly closed for good Tuesday.
People stopping by the store, next to the ribbon and bow manufacturer's headquarters on Route 11, found handwritten signs saying it was closed.
An answering machine message said the closure was permanent and thanked customers for their patronage.
Yet only a few weeks earlier, the outlet had been advertising its services, and the company website still included the shop's hours of operation.
Bargain-hunter's delight
The outlet was a treasure-trove for bargain hunters, selling ribbon by 100 or 1,000 yards, according to an ad it placed in this paper's Progress edition a few weeks ago. People could get 10 rolls for $1, and occasionally could come in for further discounts of 15 percent or more.
Customers could also order handmade bows, or take classes to learn how to make bows themselves.
In addition to ribbons, the store sold wrapping paper, gift bags, gift tissue, scrapbook material and Halloween and school items.
Fond memories
"I'm so sad," said Laura Davis of Bloomsburg, a frequent customer. "They were so nice and friendly there. And they were very generous to the community."
The shop donated ribbons and bows to Special Olympics volunteers to use at their gift-wrapping fund-raiser at the mall every Christmas, said Davis, former manager of the volunteer group.
Davis said she and others also bought a lot of ribbon there to make the Bloomsburg High play costumes every year.
"For the play, I'd get rolls of satin ribbon, five yards, for $1," Davis said. "You could get rolls with from two to 50 yards of ribbon. The most I ever saw it cost was $6."
Four or five women worked there, Davis said.
It was unclear if any of them still had jobs with the company.
The company's second outlet in Hagerstown, Md., was still open as of Thursday.
Financial struggle
Company officials didn't return messages.
However, papers filed with the Security and Exchange Commission show that CSS Inc., Berwick Offray's parent firm, has been struggling.
Between 2007 and 2010, CSS lost 15 percent in net sales, despite buying new companies and products.
As of last Dec. 31, the company saw its sales down 2 percent compared to the previous year, falling from $396.2 million to $387.9 million. For its third quarter, one of the more lucrative quarters for the seasonal business, sales were down 4 percent, from $182.2 million to $174.6 million.
And its net income as of Dec. 31 was down 9 percent for its fiscal year, coming in at $15.6 million.
'Making progress'
In their report, company officials said sales of ribbons and bows the products of the Berwick-area factories were down, along with sales of gift wrap, boxed cards, gift bags and tissue paper.
The economic downturn made the problems worse, the report said. So did overseas competition.
One bright spot for the local facilities was Christmas sales of Christmas ribbons and bows were up compared to the previous year, the reports said.
"While sales in the third quarter were 4 percent below the prior year, we continue to believe that we are making progress in the market and that sales will start to gradually improve," said company President Christopher J. Munyan in a recent press release.
He expects higher sales in the company's last quarter, which ends March 31.
Susan Schwartz covers the Berwick area. She can be reached at 752-3646 and susan.s@pressenterprise.net.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:22 AM   #2
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Where is this? We have one in Hagerstown, Md.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:32 AM   #3
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Very sad. I used to go to the Wright's outlet in Sturbridge, Ma a lot and so did a lot of people. It closed too. Very sad.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:32 AM   #4
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It's in PA.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:05 AM   #5
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Then more than likely, the Hagerstown Md, one will be closing soon. Too sad!!
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:31 AM   #6
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I use to go there years ago, it's only about 25 mins. from where I live. I really stocked up on ribbon, glad I did. Huge rolls and I mean huge, in thin and 3 + inches wide, were only like $6. Learned how to make the huge "wedding pew" bows etc. there also. I've had my "stash" for like 10 years now, and have so much it'll probably last me for the rest of my life and my daughters ....making large bows now for my daughters baby shower. One roll, for $6, I've already gotten 50 bows for an outdoor wedding, and they were 12inches plus. Sad to see yet something else in this area closing.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:52 PM   #7
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So sad to hear that the Berwick Ribbon Outlet has closed. Both the bargains and the people will be missed! I have completely enjoyed shopping and learning how to make such beautiful bows. The girls at the ribbon outlet were always so sweet and will be missed! This is devastating news to a large group of crafters in PA!
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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oh wow, that is sad news! I am nowhere near there but had always hoped to be able to visit someday and scarf up some great deals! I wonder if the Offray company makes a lot of the ribbons carried by stamp companies, etc. and if we will see that impacted. I adore using ribbon on my cards....have one large cardboard packing box full of retired SU ribbon and a considerable amount of current SU ribbon. Wonder if any of that is made by Offray? Jan
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:25 AM   #9
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Oh, no! I just saw this thread now and I'm so upset! I go there all the time it't only about 1/2 hour away from me
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:27 AM   #10
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I would suggest you go and stock up on what you need. It takes me about an hr to get there. It is very sad. What a fun place to go, and then we hit up the outlets too.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen99 View Post
I would suggest you go and stock up on what you need. It takes me about an hr to get there. It is very sad. What a fun place to go, and then we hit up the outlets too.
Wait...is the outlet still open? If it is, I'll go there right now, but it's probably all cleared out. From reading this thread I thought it was already closed.
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:24 AM   #12
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My ex-boss's sister (who lives in Berwick still) told her the doors are locked. I think Karen might be talking about the Maryland location.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:44 AM   #13
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I just called the Hagerstown store. They are open and busy.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:52 AM   #14
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I actually thought about driving to Maryland, but I figured if I drive all that way and they don't have much of what I would want it wouldn't be worth it, KWIM? It's about 3 hours from me and that's pretty far to buy some ribbon.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:49 AM   #15
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Default Hagerstown Outlet open as of 2013

As of 4/8/2013 the Hagerstown, Maryland outlet store is open.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:03 PM   #16
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Patty -- There is an outlet mall in Hagerstown about a mile from the ribbon outlet, so a trip there would not be a waste.
Hagerstown Premium Outlets
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boydsluver21 View Post
I use to go there years ago, it's only about 25 mins. from where I live. I really stocked up on ribbon, glad I did. Huge rolls and I mean huge, in thin and 3 + inches wide, were only like $6. Learned how to make the huge "wedding pew" bows etc. there also. I've had my "stash" for like 10 years now, and have so much it'll probably last me for the rest of my life and my daughters ....making large bows now for my daughters baby shower. One roll, for $6, I've already gotten 50 bows for an outdoor wedding, and they were 12inches plus. Sad to see yet something else in this area closing.
Hi,

I'm about 45 minutes from the store, in Nanticoke, near Wilkes-Barre. I'd gotten notification by email about 6 months ago and thought the store had already closed. I'm bummed, I could have gone back and gotten more ribbon! Of course, with 12 boxes of ribbon sorted by color in by closet and five ribbon rings stuffed with ribbon hanging by my desk, somehow I think I'll survive.

But I wanted to say HI! to another northeast Pennsylvanian!
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktfabian2 View Post
Hi,

I'm about 45 minutes from the store, in Nanticoke, near Wilkes-Barre. I'd gotten notification by email about 6 months ago and thought the store had already closed. I'm bummed, I could have gone back and gotten more ribbon! Of course, with 12 boxes of ribbon sorted by color in by closet and five ribbon rings stuffed with ribbon hanging by my desk, somehow I think I'll survive.

But I wanted to say HI! to another northeast Pennsylvanian!
I'm near Nanticoke I live in Mountaintop! I miss the ribbon factory and I used to go there all the time, but like you I have enough to keep me going...LOL
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