Despite a recessionary economy, Staples is slated to rent a corner space at the Bridgehampton Commons. A Staples representative, Stuart Brooks, and Geoffrey Glazer, vice president of acquisitions and development for Kimco realty, the owner of the Commons, came before the Southampton Town Planning board last Friday to present sign designs.
Glazer informed the board that Staples, a chain store specializing in office supplies, will combine three tenant spaces on the western end of the shopping plaza. According to Southampton Town Planner Matthew Briones, Staples will combine the spaces where Ann Taylor, the Retreat thrift shop and Gap Kids currently operate. The Staples store will have a combined area of 13,000 square feet. Glazer noted that King Kullen, T.J. Maxx and K-Mart are a bit larger than Staples’ new site. Brooks called the Bridgehampton location a junior-anchor store because Staples’ average store size is between 18,000 to 20,000 square feet.
“This is a needed store. There are no stores that provide this merchandise,” noted Southampton planning board member Jacqui Lofaro.
The Staples sign will need to be vetted by the town’s architectural review board. The planning board appeared very amenable to the design and said Staples’ application is a good candidate for an expedited review. The sign will be slightly smaller than those adorning King Kullen and K-Mart. The letters will be five feet long each and take up 125 square feet. Glazer noted that it was important to Kimco that the sign agree with the aesthetics of the Commons, thus the sign will be illuminated with external lights like the other signs found in the Commons. The store will also have one entrance.
In the past few months, the Commons has seen several stores close their doors. Although mainstay shops like K-Mart, King Kullen, T.J. Maxx, Gap and Banana Republic have been able to hold onto their business, others haven’t been so lucky. F.Y.E., the purveyor of CDs and DVDs, went out of business several months ago. The Body Shop was replaced by the thrift store benefiting The Retreat, which is now closing. And a small building near T.J. Maxx, where a book store came and went, has lain dormant for months.
“I don’t need to share with you what the last 10 to 12 months have been and what we foresee a year from now in the retail market. There are more retailers getting out of business than coming in. The fashion players, the soft goods have had a very difficult time there,” reported Glazer. “So we were very excited when we reached out to Staples and found that they were interested in coming [to the Commons].”