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North Adams Staples Closing By Year's End

Staff ReportsiBerkshires

Staples is expected to close by year's end.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Staples in the downtown will close at the end of the year.

The closing, rumored since last week, has been confirmed by Staples, according to several media outlets. Calls to Staples corporate headquarters on Friday were not returned to iBerkshires.

The store opened in the newly refurbished Kmart building in 2006, along with Peebles department stores and North Adams [Garden] Cinemas. Since then, Oylmpia Sports, Planet Fitness and, most recently, a Sears Homestore were added.

Mayor Richard Alcombright said Thursday night that he had spoken with several Staples executives on how the office supply store could stay open but was told the bottom line was the reason. "It was losing money," he said, adding he did not believe the chain had announced anything yet.

Staples also has stores in Pittsfield and Bennington, Vt.

The closure will leave a hole in the Steeple City Plaza but Alcombright said owner Neil Ellis of First Hartford Corp. was "fairly confident he can get something in there pretty quick."

Ellis, contacted on Friday, declined to comment on Staples' plans. "I can tell you we have a waiting list for space," he said.

Other vacancies in the plaza, which includes the L-Shaped Mall, have filled fairly quickly. The former Movie Gallery and smaller adjacent space that had hosted several different businesses, including a kids' clothing store, is now occupied by the Dollar Store. The Fashion Bug, a mainstay for a quarter-century, was replaced by Label Shopper.

Only the old Kmart garden center seems difficult to fill.

Alcombright said signage to better highlight the plaza has been a discussion point but would likely not go forward until next year when the Hadley Overpass is completed. He said he had been assured the other tenants in the former Kmart were doing OK, including the movie theaters.

Staples, based in Framingham, reported a profit gain in the third quarter.
     

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