After More Than 150 Years, Sentinel Printing Is Slated to Close Its Doors
The oldest business located in St. Cloud, Minn., is scheduled to close its doors in December, ending a more than 150-year run. Sentinel Printing, which was founded in 1854 and is currently owned by Brainerd. Minn.-based the CJK Group, will cease operations on Dec. 1, 2019, according to an Oct. 2 article in the St. Cloud Times.
Although some positions may be available at the Brainerd facility (Bang Printing, which is about 60 miles away), Susan Wiercinski, VP of marketing at CJK Group, confirmed to the local newspaper that nearly four dozen Sentinel employees will lose their jobs. A limited number of workers will reportedly stay on to completely close the Sentinel Printing location by Dec. 31, the paper indicated.
As this article was being finalized, Wiercinski responded to an interview request for more information from Printing Impressions, indicating that "Bang and Sentinel actually began integrating the two companies roughly two years ago, starting with the management teams, sales, and customer service, and then moving to other areas of the business," she wrote in an email. "The relocation of the equipment and the closure of the St. Cloud plant is the final step in that long process."
Headquartered in Brainerd, Minn., the CJK Group's large geographic footprint includes: Bang Printing (Brainerd, Minn.); Hess Print Solutions (Brimfield, Ohio); Sinclair Printing (Los Angeles and Palmdale, Calif.); Sheridan (Hanover, Pa.; Hanover, N.H.; Chelsea, Mich.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Waterbury, Vt; and Boston); and Webcrafters Inc. (Madison, Wis.).
As a privately-held company led by CEO Chris Kurtzman, CJK Group elects to not make its annual sales public for inclusion on the annual Printing Impressions 400 rankings (click here to view the complete 400 list), but it maintains a national portfolio of printing and publishing-related services; fulfillment; and technologies serving book, magazine, catalog and journal publishers. It has been one of the most active consolidators in the printing industry in recent years, often acquiring the assets of distressed companies in the book manufacturing space.
The CJK Group had also acquired the assets of Dexter, Mich.-based book printer Thomson-Shore on April 29, 2019, but eventually moved the print production to its Chelsea, Mich., Sheridan operation — where a 25,000-sq.-ft. addition was built — and turned the Dexter location into a satellite warehouse.