Staples to shutter Marshalltown store

The office supply chain, Staples, has announced it will close its Marshalltown store.

On Monday, a company spokeswoman confirmed with the Times-Republican that the company will shut its doors at 27 W. Berle Road at Southgate Plaza next month.

“I can confirm the Marshalltown location is closing [on Sept. 27],” said Kaitlyn Reardon, public relations specialist with Staples. “We continually evaluate our store performance to ensure we’re operating the business in the best way. As customers shift online, we are taking aggressive action to right-size our retail footprint. We are committed to providing great service and every product businesses need whether it’s in-store, online or through mobile.”

There has been speculation about the store’s closing since March when the company announced it would close 225 stores throughout North America, or roughly 12 percent of their retail centers, now through the end of 2015, in an effort to save $500 million in costs. It was not clear, by press time, how many jobs in Marshalltown would be lost with Staples’ closing.

“We never want to see any of our businesses close their doors, so from that point of view, it’s disappointing,” said David Barajas Jr., CEO of Marshalltown Regional Partnership.

However, Barajas said the closing announcement should not be viewed as a reflection on Marshalltown, considering the company revealed it was closing several stores throughout the United States and Canada and that 50 percent of their corporate sales are transacted online.

He also said Staples closing its doors in Marshalltown could be viewed as an “opportunity for us, as a community, to find another retailer to go into that space.”

Barajas pointed out that Marshalltown’s retail and economic landscape has seen some positive news of late, including last week’s announcement of the addition of Hobby Lobby to the Marshall Town Center, as well as a new Dunkin’ Donuts being built at the location of the former Sonic Drive-In.

“When you have such large retailers like Hobby Lobby and Dunkin’ Donuts wanting to building here … it’s clear they did a lot of studying and market research (about Marshalltown),” he said. “They see the positives we see.”

“I think we’re creating at atmosphere that is conducive to positive economic growth,” he said.

And Barajas said retail growth is just one part of the economic puzzle in Marshalltown, pointing to the building of a new $920 million Alliant Marshalltown Generating Station, which broke ground last month, and Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center, which has begun building a new facility south of town near Marshalltown Community College.

Despite the Staples announcement, Barajas said it’s evident that with the positive economic news that has surfaced, Marshalltown is “definitely headed in the right direction.”