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Staples on Northern Boulevard has shut doors for good

Photo by Joe Anuta
By Joe Anuta

The Staples store at Northern and Parsons boulevards in Flushing closed for good Saturday, adding another vacant retail space on the street.

A spokeswoman from the international office supply store said the closure was strictly a business decision.

“We always evaluate our store performance to ensure we’re operating the business in the best way,” said Karen Pevenstein said in a statement.

The store first opened in 2006 and employed 25people, all of whom were offered a transfer to work at other Staples locations, according to Pevenstein.

The retailer has a location in College Point and Bayside, although Pevenstein did not specify where the employees were offered a transfer.

She also pointed out that the store closing did not mean Staples was in financial trouble.

“This store closing is not indicative of Staples’ overall business nor part of a major restructuring program,” she said. “We plan to open additional stores in the U.S. and Canada this year.”

Staples earned about $6.6 billion in 2010, up just a few million from the year before, but the retailer’s stock has failed to come back from the 2008 recession, according to data from NASDAQ.

Just before the recession, Staples stock was selling for about $25 per share before it fell to $14.44 per share in October 2008. After rallying back to $25.76 per share about two years ago, it is back down to near recession levels in the $15 range.

The soon-to-be vacant store front, which sits on a 26,000-square-foot lot, is being sold by the Manhattan-based real estate company Midwood Investment & Development, which is also hawking another large property down the street.

L & L Supermarket sits on a slightly smaller, 22,823-square-foot lot, about half the size of a football field, and is also up for sale.

But Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District, said the two lots for sale have more to do with the economy than the downtown area’s economic viability.

“I can’t think of any correlation between this and the development of downtown Flushing,” he said. “Large chain stores can survive downtown.”

Yu cited Best Buy, Macy’s, Applebee’s and Bob’s Discount Furniture in Sky View Center on College Point Boulevard as examples.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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