Hyde Park Williams-Sonoma to close; home goods store to open
Sadly for gourmet cooks in South Tampa, the Williams-Sonoma store in Hyde Park Village will close May 19. However, there’s good news for the pastoral shopping neighborhood.
The San Francisco-based parent company of Williams-Sonoma still controls the cooking store space in Hyde Park and plans on moving in a new tenant — its hip and fast-growing West Elm brand that sells furniture, bath goods, bedding, lighting and home décor items.
The overall ethos and style of West Elm is a blend of “shabby chic,” natural textures and upscale farmer’s market culture. For instance, there’s Sam’s Natural Campn Cool bug spray lotion for $12.95, a Crosby mid-century modern couch for $1,100, a set of four blue terra cotta dinnerware plates for $40, plus canvas grocery bags and sets of “driftwood” patio furniture.
The company announced no official opening date for West Elm in Tampa, but the Williams-Sonoma store will have a clearance sale until closing day, and it posted a letter to customers noting the chain still has locations at International Plaza in Tampa and The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel.
“For that location, it just made sense for the West Elm brand,” said West Elm spokeswoman Abigail Jacobs. “We don’t have one in the area, and thought the Tampa market would respond well to it.”
The Village has stabilized recently. Though some anchor spaces on Swann Avenue remain empty, the French cuisine restaurant Piquant moved into a prominent space vacated by Restaurant BT. The Lululemon store is regularly busy. L.A. Fitness finished a rebranding of the former Lifestyle Family Fitness location, and the FITNiche running store has moved in.
In other good news for the Village, the parent company of Williams-Sonoma also operates Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids and just this month renewed leases on those locations across the plaza through 2019. That helps cement two major anchors in the Snow Circle nook of the shopping village.
Williams-Sonoma overall has been on something of a roll. The company recently announced plans to boost its quarterly dividend by 41 percent and buy back $750 million in company stock over the next three years. Stock in the company has risen in recent months from $32 per share to more than $52 on Thursday.
Though not the largest brand under Williams-Sonoma, West Elm stood out among the company’s brands, with annual revenue growing 17.4 percent to $430 million.