The impact in Maine of anticipated closures by discount retailer Family Dollar Stores Inc. is still unknown, but one local commercial real estate broker said the company has been expanding in the state and isn’t likely to shutter more than two of its 35 Maine locations.
Family Dollar said Friday in a quarterly financial report that it plans to close 370 of its 8,100 stores nationwide, citing underperformance at those stores.
The North Carolina-based retailer did not specify which stores it plans to close, but a Portland commercial real estate broker who has worked with the company said it is unlikely that many of them would be in Maine.
The company has 35 stores in Maine and is planning to open a few more, said Craig Young, a partner and broker with CBRE |The Boulos Co., which has worked with Family Dollar on several recent store openings in the state.
“They’ve closed (escrow) on a number of sites in Maine,” Young said. “So they’re looking like a company that’s expanding, not closing (stores).”
According to The Associated Press, the company said it anticipates opening 350 to 400 new stores in fiscal 2015. In fiscal 2014 it added about 525 stores. Given that the 370 announced closures represent about 5 percent of Family Dollar’s total stores, it’s unlikely that the company would close more than one or two locations in Maine, he said. It will depend primarily on how robust sales have been at each of the Maine locations, Young said.
“It’s not unusual for a company to close non-performing stores,” he said. “I think that’s the natural progression for retailers. Even Walmart has closed some stores.”
Retail analysts have reported that many discount chains have been struggling recently, in part because they expanded too rapidly during the recent recession, and now have to scale back.
The same day Family Dollar announced its plans to close some stores, Idaho-based women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek filed for bankruptcy protection and said it will close all of its stores starting in May, including its four Maine locations.
Young said Coldwater Creek’s Maine Mall location in South Portland is likely to be replaced quickly by another retailer.
“The Maine Mall has been doing very well,” he said. “I suspect they will find a replacement fairly readily.”
However, other locations, such as the one in the Shaw’s plaza in Brunswick, could remain empty for some time after Coldwater Creek shuts down, Young said.
“They’ve had trouble finding tenants,” he said.
J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 207-791-6390 or at: