NEW BRITAIN - Ocean State Job Lot has confirmed that its New Britain location will close on July 7, as the company has decided not to renew its lease at its store in the New Brite Plaza, 60 E. Main St.
The announcement was made in a written statement by Paul Cox, director of store operations for Ocean State Job Lot.
“With five conveniently located Ocean State Job Lot stores between 6 and 12 miles away, we are confident that our loyal customers will be able to continue to easily shop our nearby stores,” Cox wrote. “We are offering each of our valued New Britain associates an equivalent job at the nearest Ocean State Job Lot of their choosing. With 137 stores throughout the Northeast and additional locations opening this year, we will continue our commitment to being a good neighbor and employer in each of the states in which we operate.”
The Herald published a Facebook post Thursday with a link to the story announcing that Ocean State Job Lot is leaving New Britain. The post generated a variety of comments from the local community and Ocean State Job Lot customers.
“Too bad, the employees do a nice job keeping it organized,” Susan Earl McCarthy commented. “A lot better than the Berlin store.”
“The city needs to try to work with the property owner to keep them in New Britain,” Carin M. Mancini said. “It is a great asset to New Britain.”
“I agree they are the only reason to go into New Britain at this point,” Susan Bacon commented. “The owners need to change their mind about this”
“Nothing in New Britain ever lasts, the one in Berlin is much bigger and nicer though, I always thought,” Donna Koermer said.
“Maybe it isn’t just the rental amount but rather the environment itself,” Ashley Marie said. “Just something to think about. It’s not exactly a ‘shopping friendly’ area.”
Mayor Erin Stewart said the New Brite Plaza owner told her he had another tenant to fill the vacancy and was working toward filling the space around summer or fall, she said. The owner had discussed the idea of a family and children’s store or a gym filling the vacancy, but nothing was definite, Stewart said.
Stewart added the property management company was having similar lease discussions with the neighboring Marshall’s, but its departure is not definite.
Stewart said she heard Save A Lot, which is between Ocean State Job Lot and Marshall’s, got a discount on its rent the last time it renewed its lease, and the other businesses wanted a similar deal.
Ocean State is the second retail business in the plaza off East Main Street to announce its closing.
Payless Shoesource, also in the shopping center, announced earlier this year that all of its locations in the United States would be closing.
According to www.americaninno.com , the first Ocean State Job Lot was opened by Long Island natives Marc and Alan Perlman in 1977 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
City records indicate New Brite Plaza is owned by Paramount Realty Services, whose leasing representatives were contacted but have not responded to a request for comment.