Vernon book, magazine distributor Monahan Agency to call it quits 73 years after opening | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon book, magazine distributor Monahan Agency to call it quits 73 years after opening

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Bookland
March 12, 2020 - 4:00 PM

After almost three-quarters of a century in the business, book and magazine wholesaler Monahan Agency is closing its doors for good.

The Vernon family business that launched in 1947 and once had $30-million in annual retail sales, announced it will be closing shop May 1.

"This is an end of an era and is a sign of the times that this local business is sadly closing after 73 years," Monahan Agency said in a media release.

The news comes a little over a week after the company announced its iconic Vernon bookstore, Bookland, would be closing after five decades in business.

The book store is due to close its doors on March 31 and is currently holding a closing out sale giving customers 20 per cent off. The discount will increase on March 14 when books and magazines will be discounted by 40 per cent.

Monahan Agency was founded in 1947 by Tom Monahan Sr. who opened up the business in a 400 square foot garage behind his house which he rented near the old Civic Arena. 

Monahan Sr. grew the business taking it from the old garage and a few dozen customers to a 25,000 square foot warehouse employing more than 60 people and serving 500 customers.

"With the digital age and the advent of the internet, the magazine and book business faced many serious challenges across North America. The most serious were the amount of time individuals were spending on their devices which left less time for reading, and the onslaught of Amazon, and last, but not least the publishers were printing less and less magazine titles," the media release says. "Monahan Agency adapted and survived longer than most... the unfortunate facts of these changing times has made Monahan Agency’s closure inevitable."

The agency was one of 30 wholesale distributors across Canada and with its closure only two wholesalers are left in Canada.

The media release says TNG, a division of the Jim Pattison Group, has purchased the company's assets and is moving the operation to Calgary. The purchase price was not disclosed.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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