By By Ben Rayner
06/29/2022 11:54 a.m. EST
Rumors have been swirling since a recent public meeting about exactly what, if any, business will be moving into the retail space on Route 1 that was left vacant after the departure of Walmart earlier this spring. Economic Development Director, Sheri Cote was able to confirm part of the rumors that indeed a major retailer is interested in the site and is moving forward with plans to open a TJ Maxx/Home Goods store.
This process will take some time, according to Cote, as all major projects of this nature require. As the proposal stands now, the project would encompass two separate stores, a TJ Maxx and a HomeGoods operating as separate entities with separate entrances.
“The reason there are rumors flying around is that there was a public meeting last week with the design review committee, in which the property owner was talking to the committee about the façade…when the property owner wanted to meet, we wanted them to know because it was a public meeting the name would be getting out there and they were comfortable with that,” said Cote. “What we are telling people is that yes, there are negotiations (with TJ Maxx/HomeGoods) but there is still a lot of work to be done, so nothing has been set in stone.”
TJ Maxx owns several brand names including Marshalls and HomeGoods. TJ Maxx sells men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and shoes, toys, bath and beauty, accessories, and home products ranging from furniture to kitchen utensils. HomeGoods sells furniture, linens, cooking products, art and other home accessories, according to their public relations department.
Cote said that despite the plan to open two sites, the company would not entirely fill the space, leaving room for another vendor to take over the far western side of the building. According to Cote, no entities have applied for that site, and any company coming in would probably not be one that emphasizes signage or curb attraction for its customers.
“They are not looking to use the entire space, they are looking to use a portion of it,” Cote said. “My opinion here, and nothing factual here, but that they are going to be a little on the smaller side. My understanding is that it would be two separate stores with two separate entrances, but because the brands are part of the same company-they are sort of under the same umbrella. They are currently in negotiations with the property owner to see where that goes. There are no ideas currently on what might go in the remainder of the space. The space would be at the very end of the building, at the side of the building. So, it’s not the most desirable space for certain retailers, but it would certainly be a great spot to house something that doesn’t matter if they visual frontage appeal. Who knows what that could be, but a gym or a medical clinic might be a likely candidate.”
Currently, there is a TJ Maxx/HomeGoods location in East Haven. It is unknown if that site will remain open if the company follows through on their Guilford plans.
Walmart closed its doors at the site in April, causing concern among some Guilford residents about the lack of a convenient alternative. If this project does indeed get green lighted, the two stores and their commodities would effectively fill that gap and provide a wide array of clothing and home furnishings similar to Walmart.</…….