Hanover Center in Wilmington is losing another large tenant with the closing of Stein Mart, where store closing signs hang in the window at the Oleander Drive shopping center.
Announcing the clothing retailer's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last week, a Stein Mart news release
stated, "The [Jacksonville, Florida-based] company expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores and, in connection therewith, the company has launched a store closing and liquidation process."
The group that owns Hanover Center is optmistic about the future of the 37,000-square-foot Stein Mart space at 3501 Oleander Drive.
"While we appreciated Stein Mart’s time at Hanover, we are also excited about potential redevelopment of the corner. We haven’t had time to market the space, but we are brainstorming creative ideas with that space," said Randy Kelley, principal of Harbour Retail Partners, one of the center's joint venture owners.
They aren't in a rush to fill the space once Stein Mart is gone.
"It will likely take us some time as we’d like to get it right and not make any rash decisions," Kelley said in an email. "Several bigger box tenants have expressed interest, but I’m not at liberty to share that information."
The Pier 1 store is also closing at on the opposite end of Hanover Center next to Floral Parkway after Pier 1's bankruptcy filing.
Retailers filing for bankruptcy has started to become a more frequent occurrence during the coronavirus pandemic, and in at least one case, top executives are using the same sentences in press releases.
In a news release Aug. 12, Hunt Hawkins, CEO of Stein Mart Inc., stated, “The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business."
It was the exact same statement included in a news release in July from RTW Retailwinds Inc. announcing the closing of its New York & Company stores (including the location at Mayfaire Town Center). This time, the quote was attributed to Sheamus Toal, CEO and CFO of RTW Retailwinds Inc.