Office Depot, located on Old Aberdeen Road, will close in the near future, although store managers declined to comment when the business will shut its doors. The Retail Coach retail recruitment specialist Caroline Hearnsberger said another retailer is already interested in the space. Photo by: Amanda Lien/Dispatch Staff
March 15, 2019 10:58:28 AM
Office Depot on Old Aberdeen Road in Columbus is closing.
Store employees were confirming the closing to customers earlier this week, but store managers said they could not release information, including the date the business will shut its doors.
The store opened in 2000. It is located on a strip with several other retailers next to Leigh Mall, though mall manager Gail Culpepper said it's not part of the mall.
At least one other retailer has expressed interest in the space once Office Depot vacates it, said Caroline Hearnsberger, a retail recruitment specialist with The Retail Coach. The city of Columbus hired the Tupelo-based retail recruitment firm, earlier this year to help bring businesses to the city.
Hearnsberger did not say what retailer is interested in replacing Office Depot but said she is hopeful the space won't be empty long.
Office Depot has about 1,400 stores worldwide.
In Columbus, Office Depot is the latest in a series of big-box stores to close since April of 2017 when JCPenney, one of Leigh Mall's anchor stores, shuttered. Since then, KMart, RadioShack, Payless ShoeSource, Sears and Kirkland's have all closed.
Hearnsberger pointed out that many of those businesses, such as Sears and Payless, had stores closing nationwide and that this is part of a larger trend in retail, though she did not indicate if Office Depot fit that pattern.
"Really we just need different big-box stores," she said. "If you look at KMart closing, KMarts were closing across the U.S. JCPenneys are struggling in smaller markets. ... It's not just something that's a problem specifically to Columbus. It's an issue we're seeing nationwide. Some of these bigger box stores really aren't revamping their concepts and their designs and what they're offering and how they're marketing to their customer base as times are changing. Everyone's shopping on Amazon now or they're going for ... a store with a different design concept or that may offer a little more of some different items. Some of these stores ... just haven't been able to keep up with the times.
"Columbus is being super aggressive and going ahead and hiring us to do their retail recruitment so that when we have these stores close, we can go ahead and work on some t to go ahead and come in and fill them," she said, adding she'd had retailers interested in the spaces vacated by KMart and JCPenneys in the last few days.
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