OFFICE DEPOT

Office Depot is permanently closing its Palestine location Nov. 14.

Office Depot is the latest of Palestine’s large retailers to shutter, following Bealls and J.C. Penney earlier this year. Office Depot announced its Nov. 14 closure this month with a large closing sale sign across its storefront at 2117 S. Loop 256. 

Though the Palestine Office Depot is closing indefinitely, its parent company, ODP Corporation, has not declared bankruptcy. In filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission in May, the company announced layoffs of roughly 13,000 employees and an unspecified number of store closings and distribution facilities by 2023.

The company did not reveal whether more locations in East Texas will close, but did acknowledge that its former store at 2211 S. I-45 in Corsicana closed earlier this year. 

“Office Depot is continuously evaluating and optimizing its retail footprint. As a result, the company is closing its Office Depot store located at 2117 S Loop 256 in Palestine on Saturday, Nov. 14,” stated Shera Bishop, senior communications specialist with Office Depot in an email Wednesday.

Bishop added customers can still use Office Depot’s online services. The ODP Corporation,  headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, operates 1,300 stores.

The Office Depot closing follows similar announcements from J.C. Penney and Bealls earlier this year.  likely hastened by the COVID-19 shutdown. 

Stage Stores Inc. of Houston, the owner of Bealls stores in Texas and a few other states, announced in January it was closing the Palestine location but planned to reopen it as Gordman’s in 2020. However, due to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in May, the Palestine store’s closing is permanent. 

J.C. Penney is closing its store at the Palestine Mall, also following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in May. The store is continuing to liquidate its stock and has not specified a closing date. 

Mayor Steve Presley said he is not surprised by this year’s retail closings. He said online sales and new brick and mortar retailers and restaurants in some former department store locations will continue to attract business activity and local tax revenues over the next two to three years. 

Presley said job losses due to recent store closures will not hurt the economy for long, as other many businesses in Palestine are hiring, and even having trouble finding enough employees. 

“We’re in a good position to have continued growth for a good while here,” Presley said. “Our challenge will be to find enough developers to build housing for employees of these businesses.”

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