Big Lots to Fill Retail Void in Dennis Port

DENNIS PORT – The village of Dennis Port could soon be getting a boost from a national retail chain.

Big Lots, which operates more than 1,400 stores across the country, including 22 in Massachusetts, has filed for town permits and is set to sign a lease to use the Route 28 space formerly occupied by Benny’s.

Chairman of the Dennis Port Revitalization Committee Ken Van Tassell said not many retailers are willing to fill up 36,000 square feet of space today.

“In the days of Amazon it is very hard to find something like this,” Van Tassell said.

Van Tassell said it was also a surprise that a national retailer like Big Lots would come to Cape Cod in a location outside of the main commercial area in Hyannis.

“This is a pretty big deal for Dennis Port,”    he said.

The location has been vacant since November 2017 when Benny’s closed it’s doors for the final time. The Rhode Island-based retailer announced in September 2017 that it would be closing all of its locations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The Carpionato Group purchased the properties for almost all of the Benny’s properties with plans bring a mix of retailers and restaurants to the locations.

Van Tassell said the town had been working on revitalizing Dennis Port for long time and the closure of Benny’s hurt those efforts.

He said the addition of Big Lots to the work being completed to make streetscape improvements along Route 28 in Dennis Port will provide a boost for the region.

“It has taken longer than we wanted to but it looks like 2020 will be a really good year for Dennis Port,” Van Tassell said.

Big Lots offers several departments, including furniture, mattresses, patio and garden, home décor, bed and bath, kitchen and dining, grocery, home storage, apparel and footwear, pet supplies, toys, electronics and more.

Van Tassell said he visited the retailer’s Plymouth store.

“It’s kind of like a mixture. I didn’t realize they have quite a bit of furniture,” he said.

Van Tressell said it reminded him of a Home Goods type of store.

“I think it will be really good for the summer cottage crowd both for furniture and furnishings,” he said.

Being the retailer’s only location on Cape Cod, Van Tressell believes it will bring a lot of traffic to the Dennis Port area.

“I would image that you’ll be seeing a lot of Big Lot fliers,” he said.

Although he believes Big Lots would be a good fit for the village, Van Tressell said you are never going to replace Benny’s.

“Benny’s was much beloved by Cape Cod,” he said. “Everybody talks about it in glowing terms.”

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