Benjamin News, a major local distributor of magazines and books, has announced that it will cease operations after almost 97 years of operations, a decision that will lead to 225 layoffs as of April 4.

Paul Benjamin, who joined the family business in 1973, cited geography and a decline in magazine sales.

"Quebec is probably the most expensive market in North America to distribute magazines and books. It has the lowest density,” he told CTV Montreal. “The sale of the printed word, especially magazines, has decreased radically."

Benjamin said that a variety of deals have been struck to allow other companies to take over his company's distribution of magazines and books to 7,500 retailers in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

The company was founded in 1917 by Charlie Benjamin, a blind news vendor who peddled papers on Notre Dame St. His son Gerald later took the reigns and was subsequently succeeded by Paul Benjamin.

The company is based in Bois des Filions.