Whenever a retail space sits empty for two years, it’s a good thing when it’s filled. T

he Bed Bath & Beyond in Newton at Hampton Plaza closed in 2020 during the pandemic after being listed by the parent company as an “underperforming location.” That was 13,366 square feet of retail space the town in Sussex County saw go dark.

Well, the lights are coming back on.

It’s been announced a Michaels is opening there and it’s a first-ever. The arts-and-crafts retailer never had a presence in Sussex County until now.

Now I haven’t got an artsy or crafty bone in my body. So you’d think I’ve never set foot in this store and you’d be wrong. Michaels sells so many things like holiday decorations and school supplies that it’s nice to have nearby even if you’re not busting out the glitter and glue guns with your kids.

I’m not that parent either.

But I am the parent whose 1st grader had to make a model of Saturn once and who else could I think of that would have styrofoam balls and hoops and the paint and everything else necessary under one roof? Nobody.

Or when my daughter needed a certain kind of fabric along with poster board for a school project she was putting together.

Or when my sensory-seeking little boy with autism discovered a small rip in my sofa could deliver handfuls of soft filling for him to stim with (of course this would disembowel the sofa) and I wanted to sew that back up and buy him his own. Of course, Michaels had bags and bags of it for cheap he could play with.

It’s a pretty cool store even when you’re not making anything crafty. And now Sussex County will find that out.

The new location will be at 21 Hampton House Road in Newton in Hampton Plaza. No official opening date has been announced but they do expect it to be open later this year. It will be the 35th Michaels location in New Jersey.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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