Category Archives: Westgate

Northern Tool & Equipment celebrates Wichita success

WICHITA — Northern Tool & Equipment is having its one-year anniversary in Wichita, and the company says the store’s performance in the Westgate shopping center on West Kellogg is worth celebrating.

“It’s actually outdelivering our expectations,” says Roger Bunn, vice president for retail for the Minnesota-based company.

Of the dozen or so new stores the company opened in the last year, Bunn says, “Wichita’s second and third in pretty much all of our key financials.”

That’s saying something in a down economy, especially since it relates to the troubled construction business.

Bunn attributes the success to a few things.

“It’s a heavy concentration of our target customers,” he says of blue-collar workers and white-collar workers with blue-collar backgrounds.

Also, Bunn says, “It’s a really large trade area.”

Customers come from as far as two hours away, he says.

“There was a real pent-up demand for our product.”

The Wichita store is about 60 percent the size of a traditional Northern Tool, but Bunn says all its products can be shipped for free to the store.

“Even though we’ve skinnied down the assortment …  the customer still has full access to what we carry.”

So is it possible the chain will bring a second store here?

“That’s always a hard question,” Bunn says. “I would be surprised if we do that.”

He adds, though, “I wouldn’t rule it out.”


Marshalls may open in east, west Wichita

UPDATED — With any luck, by this time next year, shoppers in east and west Wichita will have two new Marshalls stores to shop at.

It looks like the Massachusetts-based retailer is working on two possible deals here.

Parent company TJX Cos. owns Marshalls and sister store T.J. Maxx, which is in Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock and in the Westgate shopping center at Kellogg and Dugan.

Marshalls is similar to T.J. Maxx. Marshalls is known for carrying designer clothing and homeware at discount prices — “never pay full price for fabulous” is the current tagline — though shoppers often have to wade through merchandise to find those deals.

No one with TJX returned calls for comment, and no one else involved in the deals is talking.

Sources, though, say here’s what’s in the works:

On the west side, Marshalls is considering locating at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize. The former Borders Books space is the likely new home.

On the east side, the retailer is negotiating at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich.

There’s about 50,000 square feet between World Market and where the new Cabela’s is going to open in 2012.

One retailer could take the entire space or it could be divided.

There’s also a pad site available in front of Cabela’s.

Landmark Commercial Real Estate is marketing the project.

It looked like TJX’s HomeGoods concept was briefly considered for Regency Lakes, but it sounds like that’s now off the table.

This isn’t the first time Marshalls has appeared close to a deal here, so there’s still a chance it may not happen.

We’ll let you know.

Ross Dress For Less coming to Wichita

UPDATED — Discount retailer Ross Dress For Less, which is similar to T.J.Maxx, is entering the Wichita market.

“I’m surprised it’s taken them this long . . . because this will be a good market for them,” says Doug Malone of J.P. Weigand & Sons.

Malone represented Bldg Management of New York City in the deal for about 25,000 square feet of the former Circuit City space next to Kohl’s in the Westgate shopping center on West Kellogg.

“They’ve got a great price point,” Malone says. “They’re good operators.”

Malone expects Ross Dress For Less to open in the second quarter of 2012.

There is about 11,000 square feet left to lease in the former Circuit City space. Malone says he’s talking to a number of potential tenants.

“We’ve had some people that would fit real good next to Ross,” he says.

This is a difficult time of year for new deals, though.

“Most everybody that’s doing a 2012 store has already made a deal,” Malone says.

He tries to stay on their radars so if another deal falls through, Wichita will be top of mind for retailers.

“That’s the whole point about getting their attention.”

Malone says Ross Dress For Less and Kohl’s make a powerful attraction.

“I mean, now you’ve got a really good lineup.”

Look for news of a possible east-side Ross Dress For Less soon.