Vermont New Holland dealer Champlain Valley Equipment closed its East Randolph location last Saturday and has consolidated its operations and staff 29 miles north with its Berlin location near Montpelier, citing a host of factors, reports Valley News.

Champlain Valley Equipment’s 8 employees in East Randolph have joined the approximately dozen at the Berlin location, said Nancy Howe, director of marketing for the Middlebury-based company. She said the dealership is weighing the possibility of running a “parts shuttle” from Berlin to East Randolph to continue serving customers in the Upper Valley and Central Vermont area.

“Changes in the Ag economy, manufacturer’s constraints and the challenges of finding skilled employees and reliable internet have affected our ability to grow in the East Randolph store,” the company said in a letter sent to customers. “While this was not planned for at this time, there are considerations that made this the right thing to do for customer service and our employees.”

According to the report:

Howe said several economic and societal trends had come together to lead to the decision to close the Champlain Valley Equipment’s East Randolph location, including declining milk prices for dairy farmers sending them to the internet in search of better deals on equipment purchases; the trend of young mechanics coming out of tech programs getting scooped up by the large truck industry; inconsistent delivery schedules by shippers to rural areas and unreliable internet service.

But the consolidation at the Berlin location is only for the short-term. Champlain Valley Equipment, which also has locations in Middlebury, Derby and St. Albans, is in the site approval and permitting process to build a new, expanded location in Berlin at Exit 6 on Interstate-89.

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