NORWOOD — After more than 100 years of serving members of this little hamlet, Perry’s Market is closing its doors.
A Facebook post announced the store’s closing Wednesday, stating “to the best of our abilities, we did everything we could to keep Perry’s alive and going strong. Unfortunately we were not successful. We will be closing.”
On Thursday morning, the doors were locked and the interior of the store was dark.
On the double doors were signs announcing a liquidation sale with 40 percent off everything Thursday through Saturday and 50 percent off everything from Sunday through Tuesday. The stores hours during that time will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to the signs.
The store opened its doors in October 1917 under the ownership of E.J. Holt and is believed to have originally been located across the street from its current address at 58 Spring St.
After moving, the store was then sold in 1964 to Roy Kingsley and became Kingsley’s Grocery until it was purchased by Susan G. Perry and her husband Lawrence in 1978; the operated it under the name Perry’s Big M.
Richard J. Gilchrist IV and his wife, Carina B., took over ownership in August 2016 following the death of Mrs. Perry and parternered with their friend Benjamin E. Hull and his wife, Liana R., last October.
Now, less than two months after a complete physical redesign of the store and restructuring their business model, they are closing.
The store employed a staff of 13, all village residents, Ms. Gilchrist told the Times previously.
A voicemail and text message left with Mr. Gilchrist seeking comment on the store’s closing was not immediately returned.
At the time of the store’s 100th anniversary, Mr. Gilchrist called the store’s foundation “rock solid,” saying he wanted to continue the store’s tradition of being “community focused. It has been serving people for generations. I think that is worth something. It is worth celebrating and preserving and that is why we are here.”
When the Gilchrists bought the little country market on Spring and Spruce streets, they said it wasn’t for a love of groceries, but to preserve history and marry it with modernity.
“From a business standpoint and just as a local community member, there are not many businesses, anywhere, that can claim to be around and functioning and serving the same capacity for that long,” Mr. Gilchrist said previously. “I think that is really, really valuable, to say you have that kind of history and legacy. I really feel like Perry’s is a pillar in the community and without it, Norwood would be a very different place.”
In January the store underwent the beginnings of an entire renovation to reach their goal of modernity, aspiring to be what Mr. Gilchrist said was an “Adirondack version of Trader Joe’s” and on March 3 the store was packed with people from Norwood and beyond for a “grand reveal.”
In Wednesday’s Facebook post, however, the store owners wrote that “We knew our model wasn’t working so we decided to give it our best shot at a new model. We are so sad to see this chapter end.
“We give all of our thanks to a wonderful team,” The post goes on, listing the names of 12 staff members. “You all worked hard and had an amazing spirit despite the challenges and changes we have come up against. Our best to you all!”
The post had over 112 comments with people expressing sorrow that the store is closing from people as far away as Florida, who wrote that they were looking forward to coming to the area for camping this summer and looking forward to spending their tourist dollars at the store.