WATERVILLE — A former Main Street mainstay is continuing on — at least in name.

Atkins Printing Services, which closed its doors last month, reopened Thursday in Manchester under new ownership with expanded services.

New owners Peter Schutte and Mike Whitman said they purchased the company’s assets April 24, the same day the foundering 102-year-old business was shuttered.

Whitman is president of Premier Marketing Group, a distributor of promotional products in Manchester. Schutte owns and operates Color Graphics, a print management and sign company in Augusta.

The two men joined forces to form a third company, Premier Color, which will do business as Atkins Printing Services. Atkins employees will work from Whitman’s offices in Manchester, but the three businesses will remain separate in the short term, Whitman said.

The pair bought all Atkins assets, but they’re not keeping the physical space or its printing equipment. The most valuable assets are the company’s name, phone number, digital files and customer goodwill, Whitman said.

The strategy is to outsource print jobs to other manufacturers but keep the customer service local and familiar. Toward that goal, two of Atkins’ former customer service representatives have been rehired and are taking orders in Manchester, Whitman said.

“It’s just a different business model. For the most part, we’re out of the manufacturing business. We’re in the sourcing and distribution business.”

Whitman said longtime Atkins customers can dial the same phone number, talk to the same people and get reprints of the same business cards, brochures and other materials the new owners have on file.

“It will be seamless for them. They won’t have to re-create any information,” he said.

Schutte said the print industry is on the decline, but it still has a future as long as companies are diversified. When customers seek printed marketing and promotional materials from Atkins, they also will have the option of ordering digital materials.

“You need to add the social media aspect, the mobile media landscape,” Schutte said. “Our new company is going to be helping customers get into those emerging technologies to help them with their marketing plans.”

Atkins customers also will have access to products from Schutte’s and Whitman’s other companies, he said.

Carlette Place is one of two former Atkins employees who has been rehired. Place worked for 31 years at Atkins’ Main Street location; Thursday was her first day of work in Manchester. She said the outlook for the new company is good.

“We can offer so many more services than we offered just in print media,” she said.

Whitman said the three companies may merge under a single name.

“We will likely do that eventually, but we don’t want to transition the Atkins brand until we get those clients moved over to our databases and our customer service people,” he said. “That’s the long-term plan.”

Schutte and Whitman said they will end their lease at 155 Main Street as soon as the assets are removed. The printing equipment probably will be sold, Whitman said.

Ben McCanna — 861-9239

[email protected]

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