West-side Pathfinders Birkenstock to close

WICHITA — The economy has spoken, and the west-side Pathfinders Birkenstock store is closing at the end of this month or in early February at the latest.

“The economy is telling us we’ve not needed two stores in Wichita for some time,” says owner Jill Dunning. “It makes no economical sense to have two stores when, honestly, we probably never needed two stores in the first place.”

The previous owner signed a 10-year lease for the west side store south of NewMarket Square near 21st and Maize. Dunning bought the store about eight years ago.

Renewing the lease wasn’t an option.

“With an accountant husband, of course I can’t,” Dunning says, laughing.

Still, she’s sorry to have to do it.

“We love the building over there, and I hate to take away the ease of a west-side store for my west-side customers.”

Her store in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn will remain open

“Business as usual.”