An industry’s decline seen through the eyes of a refurbisher

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Sixteen deep blue newspaper boxes — newly painted and un-dinged — stand like fresh recruits in two neat rows on the floor of Expert Newsrack Services in Thomasville, ready to be deployed for service by The Island Packet newspaper in Hilton Head.

Clayton Hall, the owner and operator of Expert Newsrack Services, is part of a winnowing field of jobbers who service newspaper boxes and racks in an industry that overall has seen a decline in capacity over the past decade. Hall has been involved in the newspaper business for 36 years, and has brought his grandson, Conor, into the business.

Expert Newsrack Services sells and refurbishes newspaper boxes across the Southeast, but primarily in Virginia and the Carolinas. Clayton Hall said the closest business that does what he does is located in Alabama.