Cost Plus World Market is welcoming shoppers to its newest store at U.S. 19 and Sunset Point Road in Clearwater.
The 10,000-square-feet shop took over the space of a former Publix supermarket in Sunset Point 19 plaza and features a variety of eclectic housewares, furniture, home décor and food from around the globe.
This is the chain’s first store in the Tampa Bay area. The company currently plans to open a second location in Wesley Chapel, says Kathy Sweet, store supervisor. It’s also one of the first new big box retailers to enter the Tampa market since the 2008 recession, she adds.
Currently, the Cost Plus World Market
chain operates around 350 stores throughout the country, 12 of them in Florida, Sweet says. The flagship store is located in San Francisco, CA.
The Clearwater store held its grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony with local officials and Clearwater Chamber of Commerce members on August 3. Sweet says they were “slammed” those first few days, as well as the following weekend, when the store welcomed Nicole Curtis
, blogger, author and host of HGTV’s Rehab Addict
“It was super busy. There were hundreds of people in line to see her. When I came in at 12:30 the line went all the way down to CVS,” Sweet says. “[Curtis] uses a lot of our items in her home design blog and on her show. So she’s a real World Market advocate.”
City Manager Michael Delk says the store “is a nice addition to the plaza.”
He adds, “They’re a really good tenant. They’re new to the market and have a certain cache.”
Other tenants in the plaza include Barnes & Noble, Old Navy and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Sweet says a Hobby Lobby is moving into the shopping center down the road, as well as a Spirit Halloween shop this fall.
This bodes well for the plaza, which has seen tenants leave and a drop in shoppers in recent years, Delk says.
“If Hobby Lobby is coming in, that’s a really nice mix,” he says. “I’d consider that a shopping center landing on its feet. Those are Class A tenants.”
Sweet adds, “We’re getting a lot of thank yous from our neighbors for bringing in business.”