Now that Covid and 2022 are in the rearview mirror, hopefully everyone will be able to get back to normal in 2023, whatever that may be. Twenty twenty-two still had many challenges leftover from …
Now that Covid and 2022 are in the rearview mirror, hopefully everyone will be able to get back to normal in 2023, whatever that may be. Twenty twenty-two still had many challenges leftover from Covid and some companies just couldn't continue operations in the new economy.
Many smaller stores that used to fill up strip malls disappeared and even some larger stores and companies were affected as well. One of those companies was Agway. Since the year 2000, Agway has been controlled by multiple different companies. In 2000, Agway Inc. filed for bankruptcy and the retail division was acquired by Southern States Cooperative, which is a Co-op like Agway was, from Maryland south to Florida on the east coast. That relationship lasted until 2019 when Southern States Coop sold the Agwaty Division to a Venture Capital firm out of California, then in 2020 Covid hit.
Now unlike other stores, Agway stores which are all privately owned franchises, flourished as many people were stuck home and decided to plant gardens and do other landscape projects. However, Agway corporate, was not prepared due to the fact that the new owners, from California, had no idea what Agway did or how it was done. So for the three Agway affiliates in Sullivan County, Delaware Valley Farm and Garden (Callicoon Agway), Liberty Home, Garden and Pet (Liberty Agway) and Monticello Farm Home and Garden (Monticello Agway) had to find products to fill the high demand from other sources.
As a result, last year Agway corporate went belly up again, closing up shop just before the busiest time of the year, the spring. Now once again Agway is rising from the ashes as True Value has purchased the rights to use the Agway name, and they are going to marry the Agway name into the Home and Garden Showplace division.
The deal was just finalized at the end of 2022 and once the dust settles we will see what the next chapter in the Agway saga has in store for us. Already the Feathered Friend birdseed line has been re-introduced to much fanfare and bird's delight. It will probably take a couple of springs before we see Greenlawn fertilizer or Agway labeled seeds again as companies that do private labeling already have their product lines set for spring 2023.
Under the True Value family of businesses, the Agway name may once again become a household name. Most of our customers don't even know what Agway is as we haven't used the Agway name on our building since 1998 when we signed on as a Home and Garden Showplace dealer. But we still have some old-timers that remember when Agway was born from the merger of Eastern States Cooperative and the Grange League of Farmers (GLF) in 1964. Now 59 years later and Agway is reborn again.
Hopefully good things will follow in 2023. At least the days are getting longer now and we are less than four weeks away from March.
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