1. Business

Simple Floors opens in Lutz; Blockbusters to close

Published Jan. 12, 2012

LUTZ — A flooring franchise recently opened its first location in Florida.

Benjamin Bee brought Simple Floors to Lutz Dec. 1 and said it has already been a positive experience.

Bee, who traces his involvement in the flooring business in the Tampa Bay area to 1995, said he has already increased his staff. He works with three employees and approximately five subcontractors.

Bee said the store stands out because the company manufactures most of the hardwood and laminate lines offered rather than buying from another distributor. According to Bee, that translates to lower prices for consumers.

"We can save the consumer up to 40 or 50 percent," Bee said. "We're probably the best priced in town. It's going to be hard to match our pricing with the quality."

Prices start at $2.87 per square foot for hardwood floors. Hand-scraped hardwood is popular, he said, which gives floors a chiseled, old world look that will age more gracefully than a smooth surface. Flooring options also include bamboo, laminate and cork.

Another advantage of these wood floors is they can be sanded, unlike some other lines that can't be refinished because the layers are too thin, Bee said.

Simple Floors is at 103 Whitaker Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and Sunday by appointment. Visit or call (813) 435-5579.

Blockbuster continues shift to mail service

A Blockbuster in New Tampa will soon close. The movie rental location at 19070 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. no longer rents items and is selling the remainder of its inventory, said Kelsey Smith, a representative. The store closes Jan. 22.

A couple of other Blockbuster locations in Tampa are also closing soon, Smith said. The store at 7717 W Hillsborough Ave. no longer rents products and will close in mid February. The store at 12105 W Linebaugh Ave. will stop renting at the end of January before it closes in mid March.

The closings come as Blockbuster commits to only maintaining stores able to operate at a profit, Smith said. Blockbuster is focusing on its mail service for movie rentals, which customers can use for a monthly fee.

The New Tampa store is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 979-6207.

Ileana Morales can be reached at


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