Stein Mart, at 6111 Newberry Road, announced it will close its doors, and a new Hobby Lobby craft store is expected to take its place.
The Jacksonville-based department store Stein Mart closes Aug. 27, said Linda Tasseff, the Stein Mart director of investor relations.
Tasseff said the decision to close the store was a business choice.
“We were at the end of a lease term, and the store wasn’t meeting expectations,” Tasseff said.
She said she couldn’t pinpoint the number for the job losses that will result from the store closing.
“We employ about 40 employees there,” Tasseff said. “We always do try to relocate people when possible.”
Hobby Lobby Spokesman Vincent Parker confirmed in an email that Gainesville residents can expect a Hobby Lobby in 2014. According to Alachua County Clerk of Court records, Hobby Lobby signed a memorandum of lease agreement with the current property owners.
Laurel Marois, a 19-year-old UF history junior, said she thinks the store will improve the selection of materials in Gainesville beyond what is currently available at local craft stores.
“We have a lack of craft stores, and there are a lot of people who do that kind of stuff,” said Marois, who frequently makes scrapbooks and crafts for her sorority sisters.
“People are all buying the same things, and orange and blue stuff is always sold out,” she said.
Maria Collins, a 20-year-old UF history junior, said she thinks Hobby Lobby will be a better choice than Stein Mart for the location.
“I don’t usually shop there unless I’m with my mom,” Collins said. “Within my age group, most likely they wouldn’t be too sad (about the closing).”