Akron printing company Digital Color International Inc. closed unexpectedly — and quietly — last week after 22 years in business.
The 40,000-square-foot building at 225 W. Bartges St. that housed Digital Color is for sale; the building is not owned by the printing business’ parent company, Che International Group LLC of Cincinnati.
Digital Color had a large roster of clients, including Macy’s and the Browns, and printed a variety of items, including catalogs, instructional manuals, packing and retail displays.
Bob Cohen, with Centrus Group Inc. of Akron, said Centrus has been hired by Digital Color’s owners to help them with its liquidation.
“If we can, we’d love to sell the company as a company,” Cohen said, “but if that’s not possible, we’ll liquidate the assets.”
Cohen said the liquidation is not the subject of a court order. Centrus handles business divestitures, “wind-down management” and business “crisis intervention,” according to its website.
Cohen said he did not know the reasons behind Digital Color’s closing.
Officials of the parent company Che International could not be reached for comment. A woman answering the phone at another Che International business, outside Dayton, referred calls to Cohen.
Che International bought the business from Dave Welner and Dave Fusselman in 2011. Welner and Fusselman started the business in Fusselman’s home in 1992.
A Che International representative said in a letter to customers that it tried to avoid an “abrupt shutdown” by negotiating with the building’s landlord. Presumably, Che International was trying to get a break on lease payments, but that could not be confirmed.
An employee who asked not to be identified said Digital Color’s roughly 45 employees received notice of the closing via email last week. The company was not required by state law to give workers a 60-day advance notice of the shutdown, because it had fewer than 100 employees.
The employee said Digital Color workers were very skilled and many already have found employment with other printers.
Digital Color, the employee said, was a “one-stop” printing shop for many area companies.
The company had in the past several years developed online tools to allow customers to order printed promotional products — T-shirts, backpacks, hats and other items. Digital Color would procure the items from vendors, print them in house and ship them from the Bartges Street location.
The employee noted that the company is closing after having survived the 2007-2009 recession with relatively few layoffs.
The one-story brick Bartges Street building, at the southern edge of downtown, is listed with the Independence office of commercial real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield. The asking price is $1.6 million.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.