What's In Store

A major retailer will close its midtown Charlotte store soon

Starting Aug. 16, you can enroll in TSA PreCheck at the Staples store in south Charlotte. TSA says its PreCheck screening enables passengers to get through airport security lines in five minutes or less.
Starting Aug. 16, you can enroll in TSA PreCheck at the Staples store in south Charlotte. TSA says its PreCheck screening enables passengers to get through airport security lines in five minutes or less. AP

The Staples store at the Metropolitan shopping center in midtown Charlotte is closing July 13, the retailer confirmed Friday.

Over the years, the office supplies company has been grappling with declining sales as more customers opt to shop online.

Last year, the chain announced plans to close 70 more stores. The year before that, it closed 48 stores, according to news reports at the time.

Staples was bought by private equity firm Sycamore Partners last year for $6.9 billion. Sycamore Partners is the New York firm that also bought Charlotte-based Belk in December 2015.

In 2016, Staples tried to merge with rival Office Depot, but the Federal Trade Commission blocked the deal.

Staples is the latest national chain to close stores in Charlotte amid the continued challenges in the retail industry. Others include Hhgregg, J.C. Penney, Macy's and Kmart.

"We continually evaluate our store performance to ensure we’re operating the business in the best way. As customers shift online, we are taking aggressive action to right-size our retail footprint," spokeswoman Kaleigh Sands said in an email.

Staples operates two other stores in the city — at Smith Corners in north Charlotte, and on Pineville-Matthews Road in south Charlotte. Other major tenants at the Metropolitan include Trader Joe's, Marshalls and Best Buy.

It is not yet clear what will take the place of roughly 20,000 square-foot Staples, which has operated at the Metropolitan for about a decade.

"We are committed to seeking the best possible replacement for their space – taking into account the current mix at our center and shopper and community needs, taste and interests. Once a replacement for Staples is confirmed, we will make that announcement," said Lauren Robinson, a marketing manager for Bayer Properties, which handles leasing at the midtown shopping center.



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