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Michigan furniture stores to close

A furniture company that has operated four retail stores in Flint Township for more than 17 years will close those locations permanently after the President's Day holiday weekend. The commercial property closures were based on a number of factors, but the chief marketing officer of the company did not clarify what all of the factors were. One of the points contributing to the decision was the fact that a lease with the property owner would be expiring.

The township currently has many empty retail locations, meaning that these closures will increase the impact on the area's commercial district. The company will continue to operate at locations in other cities, and 18 employees from the Flint Township locations have been offered the opportunity to transfer. Meanwhile, officials in the township have met with the property owner's representatives to discuss ways in which assistance can be offered.

The four stores were located at a single property that housed four different specialized brands. Each of the brands featured its own unique and separate entrance to the property. The location is next door to a major department store, a point that may contribute to interest from prospective tenants. The property owner's representatives indicate that some parties are interested in taking over the spot. However, no deals have been reached at this time.

The expiration of a lease can be a time that allows a business to consider downsizing by eliminating a location without the need to break a contractual agreement. In some cases, the need to downsize might not coincide with the conclusion of a lease, making it important to consider the legal ramifications of breaking a lease in order to close a business location. It may be important to work with a real estate lawyer to handle the terms of early termination of a lease.

Source: MLive.com, "Furniture Row will close Flint Township stores, leaving big retail vacancy", Ron Fonger, January 11, 2014

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