Philomath will be losing a major business this fall with the Oct. 28 closure of Del's Feed and Farm Supply.
The store's parent company, Tractor Supply Co., announced Monday that it planned to close seven Del's locations around the Pacific Northwest, including Philomath.
“Our decision to close these locations was based on many business factors, and we came to this decision after much analysis,” John Logan, Tractor Supply Co.'s regional vice president said through a press release. “Del’s has been a part of the Philomath community for many years and we are thankful to our customers for their loyalty and business.”
Benton County records show George and Janice Habbestad, of Monroe, as owners of the property with Tractor Supply Co., listed as the taxpayer. The Habbestad family formerly operated Cherry Tree Farm Supply at the site, which is located at 2606 Main St. The Del's store opened there in 2007.
There apparently had been local interest in taking over the store and keeping it open with new ownership, but it's uncertain if that remains as a possibility.
"I'm hopeful that if that's no longer the case, there would be some other local interest in continuing to have a feed and supply store in town," said Shelley Niemann, Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce director. "I know Del's has been a huge supporter of nonprofits like 4-H and Oregon Poultry Swap ... There's a definite need for that to continue in our town."
Chris Workman, Philomath city manager, hopes something will materialize in the near future.
"We're sorry to hear they'll be closing their doors and look forward to somebody else moving in there quickly and building a relationship with them," Workman said. "I don't know the inner workings of Del's, but the hope would be that there's another entity that sees that location as a good spot to be. It's on the highway on the edge of town, it has good access and good visibility."
Tractor Supply Co., is also closing stores in Hermiston and Lewiston, Idaho, along with four others in Washington state at Ephrata, Morton, Othello and Sunnyside.
"Tractor Supply typically employs 12 to 15 per store but employees were offered relocation packages, so I can't tell you the number of employees right now," Breck Rochow, a public relations employee responding to media inquiries, said when asked how many workers will be affected at the Philomath store.
On a larger scale, Del’s Feed and Farm Supply, founded in 1972, has had up to 21 stores in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Hawaii.