Kerry Hoctor, who took over his parents’ Village Stationers business after their retirement in 1981, last week revealed plans to close the Los Altos and Menlo Park locations this summer.
Hoctor sent a statement to local media outlets – “with a heavy heart,” he said – stating that after five decades serving customers, Village Stationers will shutter when he settles into his own retirement. Hoctor recounted the history of his beloved business, adding that he was 12 years old when his parents bought a “little stationery store” at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto in 1966.
“(This was) indeed a lifetime ago,” Hoctor said. “Little did I think this was going to be my life for the next 53 years.”
When Hoctor’s parents relocated their shop to Menlo Park in 1976, they found space at 711 Santa Cruz Ave., just a few doors down from where the Menlo Park store now sits. When his parents handed the business down, Hoctor was 27. He worked to expand Village Stationers, opening another location in an old office supply store on University Avenue in Palo Alto seven years after inheriting his the family business.
When that store moved to California Avenue in 2002, Hoctor was still hungry for more. A decade later, he opened a Village Stationers on Main Street in Los Altos, where he had “always longed to have a store.” His daughter Shannon Klein assumed operations of that location, continuing the family tradition.
Although Hoctor acknowledged his “loyal customer base,” he mentioned the declining performance of brick-and-mortar retail stores in his farewell letter to the community.
“(The stores) have seen quite a transformation in the last 10 years with pressure coming from so many sources,” he wrote. “The challenges are many and fierce. … I would like to say thank you to my customers. I could not have done this without you.”
Hoctor has not yet announced a closing date for his two stores.
The Los Altos location of Village Stationers is located at 222 Main St. For more information, visit villagestationers.com.