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Three Stores Closed or Closing at Epps Bridge Centre

LifeWay Christian Store in Epps Bridge Centre currently is holding a going-out-of-business sale and will be the third store in the Oconee County shopping center to close this year.

Gap closed in January, and Kinnucan’s last month.

The second phase of Epps Bridge Centre—across the Oconee Connector from the initial phase—has only one tenant, Hobby Lobby.

Much speculation has centered on Costco as a tenant for that second phase, but Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said last month that Costco isn’t coming to the county any time soon.

The local retail market is reflecting major national trends.

LifeWay is closing all its stores to move entirely to online stores, Gap is closing stores nationwide and restructuring, and Kinnucan’s has withdrawn to its original home market.

The most recent jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor, while overwhelmingly positive, showed three straight months of declines in employment in retail.

Oconee County Finance Director Wes Geddings last month presented a county budget that projected revenue growth from local sales tax of only 3 percent in the next fiscal year, compared with 5 percent growth in revenue from the county’s property tax based on a flat tax rate.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.