School Days Supply Co., the last remaining retail store in Goodwill’s Village West shopping center, will close by the year’s end after nearly 38 years in business.
The education supply store has been open on the corner of Washington and Furys Ferry roads since 1976. Owners Bob and Audrey Chaplin have run the business for 18 years after purchasing it from Mary Moody in 1995.
“We just decided we were going to retire,” Audrey Chaplin said. “I have four children and five grandchildren, so it’s time to be with them. We also have another business, so I’m going to be plenty busy.”
That other business is Chaplin and Sons Clearing and Demolition on New Savannah Road in Augusta.
In recent years, the shopping center has shifted from a retail focus to the home for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA’s expanded presence in Augusta. The Macon-based organization bought the center in 2009 and has since opened a culinary school, restaurant, conference center and other ventures.
Weinberger’s Furniture and Mattress Showcase moved out in January to a new storefront on River Watch Parkway. Social Inc. is the only other business that remains in the center.
“School Days requested and received an early termination of their lease,” said Goodwill’s senior director of marketing and communications, Barry Paschal, who added that there are no immediate plans for the space. “We’re continuing to evaluate that part of our main Augusta campus – including most of the former Weinberger’s space – for future programs, which could include the expansion of Helms College with additional educational programming options.”
Chaplin said she will close at the end of the year or else when all the store’s supplies are sold. The store carries school and office products, ranging from stickers and pencils to wall maps and flags for teachers, students and parents.
“We’re selling all the fixtures, the racks, everything,” she said.
Chaplin said that she’ll miss most greeting teachers and other regular customers she has gotten to know through the store.
“You become friends with them,” she said.