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Downtown Arvey store reopens under new ownership

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One of the busiest downtown sellers of paper and office supplies has reopened under new ownership.

Arvey Paper & Office Products at 1021 N. Pennsylvania St. in Indianapolis began serving customers again Dec. 18 after closing in June.

Arvey was part of the Xpedx chain of print shops, which are owned by Memphis-based International Paper Co. The chain has been shedding stores for more than two years, from a peak of 140 locations to about 20. The chain said last year that it plans to eventually close all Xpedx stores. A location at 5850 W. 80th St. in Indianapolis remains open as a warehouse.

Former Xpedx executive Bob Smusz purchased the Arvey name and, besides the store in Indianapolis, so far has reopened others in Houston; Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Tulsa, Okla.

Arvey’s downtown Indianapolis location had served hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses and organizations, including printing shops and churches, for more than 25 years before its closing.

Longtime customers welcomed Arvey’s return, said Kevin Dotson, the company’s vice president and regional manager who spent 28 years at International Paper.

“We had a lot of people disappointed when we closed, and we just thought that there was a unique niche to do this again,” he said.

Since the closing, though, a competing paper supplier has opened downtown. Cleveland-based Millcraft Paper Co. opened a store at 510 W. Merrill St., near Lucas Oil Stadium, in September.

Millcraft had a warehouse on the far-east side at 3330 Pagosa Court but closed it after opening the downtown location. The new store features both retail and warehouse space.

Store manager Scott Gill said business so far has been “excellent” and thinks there’s enough space downtown for two paper suppliers.

“Competition is never bad,” Gill said. “It’s good for our customers, and I think it’s good for everybody.”

The Millcraft store has 12 employees; Arvey has four. The Arvey store manager is John Markiewicz, a 13-year veteran of the paper supply industry.

Both stores offer cut-size paper and supplies by the case and ream, as well as an assortment of graphics, office and packaging supplies.

The new Arvey owner has no plans to open another store in Indianapolis, Dotson said, but it is targeting other cities nationwide.
 

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