Saks to Close Tampa, Fla. Store

Dick’s will open flagship in once-luxury mall
Posted April 24, 2013

Saks Inc. (New York) has announced it will close its Saks Fifth Avenue store in WestShore Plaza (Tampa, Fla.) next week, after 15 years at the site. Dick’s Sporting Goods (Pittsburgh) will open a flagship store in the location early next year.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Saks said the store was falling short of company sales goals. and will close May 4, even thought it has five more years left on its lease. An agreement was worked out with WestShore’s owner, Glimcher Realty Trust, for Saks to leave early, allowing time for Dick’s to gut and remodel the space as quickly as possible.

“If Saks is not happy with their sales, then we are not happy with their sales,” WestShore Plaza general manager Jay Botsch told the newspaper. “We want a productive anchor.”

The Times gave Saks credit for bringing prestige luxury retail to Tampa Bay. when it opened at WestShore in 1998. It was the first full-line Saks Fifth Avenue store on Florida’s west coast.

Three years later, International Plaza opened about a mile away with Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Saks has also announced 2013 and 2014 closings in Dallas and Stamford, Conn., though it’s also adding stores – including one in Sarasota, Fla.

“We regularly assess the productivity, profitability, and potential of each of our stores and may determine that a closing is appropriate from time to time,” said Saks ceo Steve Sadove.

The new Dick’s, a flagship store with more interactive and experience-driven displays, will be directly across from Sports Authority, one of its main competitors. A Sports Authority manager told the Tampa, Fla. newspaper that his store did not plan to close but that he had been unaware of the plans for Dick’s.