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Big Lots to close Federal Way store

Big Lots is located at 1211 S. 320th St. next to Safeway in Federal Way. - Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
Big Lots is located at 1211 S. 320th St. next to Safeway in Federal Way.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

Discount retailer Big Lots will close its Federal Way store.

Located at 1211 S. 320th St. next to Safeway, the department store will close April 15 due to not being able to work out a leasing deal for the property, according to corporate spokeswoman Toni Fink.

"They are in search of finding a new location in Federal Way," Fink told The Mirror. "They've been out and they've been looking. It's a matter of finding that right piece of property."

Merlone Geier Partners has owned the store's current site since 2011, said Jim Alexander, the firm's vice president. He declined comment on the dealings with Big Lots, but said he wasn't aware the Federal Way store was closing.

Neither the Big Lots spokeswoman nor the store manager could provide details on the number of employees at the Federal Way location.

Big Lots is a Fortune 500 company known for selling overstock and closeout merchandise as well as furniture. According to the corporate website, there are roughly 1,415 stores nationwide with an annual per-store sales average of $3.5 million. The company claimed 37,400 employees in January 2012, which would mean an average of 26 employees per store.

Patrick Doherty, director of economic development for Federal Way, provided the following statement to The Mirror regarding Big Lots:

Given that the apparent issue here is the inability of Big Lots to negotiate a renewed lease with the property owner, the city was not included in those negotiations, for obvious reasons. As for Big Lots’ search for a new location, our website offers an updated commercial building/site locator that any party can access and search for available locations on a customized basis – in addition to the efforts that presumably their commercial real estate broker or agent is conducting on their behalf. City staff can make themselves available on a moment’s notice to assist their effort to find a new home in Federal Way, recognizing that the commercial real estate brokers/agents will likely have more ready access to the commercial real estate marketplace than we may have.

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