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Central Florida locations caught in the Payless closing net

Updated on April 5, 2017
A Payless Store.
A Payless Store. | Source

Let's catch up on some of the retail news happening across Central Florida.

Payless is Closing Some CenFlo Stores...

I thought Payless was invincible. I was wrong.

The news hit us like a bombshell. Payless Shoesource, America's premier shoe store chain, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing 400 "underperforming stores" as a means to restructure the company.

The closings came quickly as by 10 am on Apr. 5, the struggling chain had already released the stores that they will be closing (at least we can give them a round of applause for getting the list out early).

Central Florida didn't remain unscathed, and the following stores will be losing their beloved Payless store, a few that has been around for years.

  • Winter Park will lose its Payless at 7414 University Blvd in the University Square Shopping Center.
  • Orlando will lose three Payless stores, in the Silver Hills Shopping Center in Pine Hills, Lake Fredrica in Southeast Orlando, and Sand Lake Corners near the Florida Mall.
  • And, finally, Ocoee will see the Payless inside West Oaks Mall close for good.

While those Payless stores will be closing, lovers of the chain can still be thankful that Central Florida will still have over 50 Payless stores for shopaholics to shop from.

Say Hello to Your New Sam's Club...

The Lake Nona area of Southeast Orlando has been booming with new retail, and now, Walmart is getting in on the action.

Already opening their new "Store of the Future" on growing Narcoosee Road, the world's largest retail chain has opened a new "State of the Art" Sam's Club just next door to their high-tech Walmart at 11920 Naracoosee Road.

The new Sam's Club is not your grandpa's Sam's. No, this new store, the 11th to open in Central Florida, has such bells and whistles as an app that will allow shoppers to pay as they shop, a drive-thru for pickup, a concierge service for members who places an online order, personal shopping assistants, sushi bar, and more.

As we said, this isn't your grandpa's Sam's Club.

Going Shootin' in Ocoee...

We love our guns here in Central Florida, which is quite evident by the sheer number of gun ranges that are scattered throughout the region.

Orlando Gun Club, a popular retail store and range near, of all places, The Holy Land Experience on Vineland Road in Orlando, has decided that the West Orange County town of Ocoee will be the perfect spot to lay the groundwork for a second store and range in the Orlando area.

According to Kyle Arnold of the Orlando Sentinel, the second location for the Orlando Gun Club will be located at 11814 W. Colonial Drive just west of State Road 429 and will be much larger than the original Southwest Orlando facility.

That means more space to go "pop-pop-pop," and that will be music to the ears of West Orange gun fans.

Tips and Tibbits...

  • Starbucks will open a new location at The Grove Orlando at the corner of Conroy-Windermere and Apopka-Vineland Roads. According to the Orange Observer, the new Starbucks will be 2,506 square feet and will have a drive-thru.
  • Ace Cafe Orlando will (finally) open this Spring near the corner of Garland Avenue and West Livingston Street across the street from the LYNX Central Station bus terminal in Downtown Orlando according to RideApart.
  • WWE legend Hulk Hogan has opened his new store, Hogan's Beach Shop, at 7679 International Drive near Sand Lake Road. The store is located in a once-vacant 7-11 store and is the second store for the brand. The original is in Clearwater Beach.

Watch this space every Wednesday for the comings and goings of Central Florida's retail scene, made with a little bit of spice and sass from award-winning writer Kareem Gantt.


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