Fair’s Shoe Store to close by March

WICHITA — One of the city’s oldest retail outlets is closing.

Fair’s Shoe Store in the Indian Hills shopping center at 13th and Meridian will go out of business by March.

“It has, unfortunately, been less than profitable for us over the last four years,” says general manager Andy Warren.

He says his family had planned to close Fair’s, which he thinks has been in business since the 1940s, in 2010 when it opened a New Balance and a Heads shoe store in the former Blockbuster space at 10231 W. 21st St. near Maize Road.

The family decided to keep Fair’s open and continue selling comfort shoes at a more moderate price.

“It just turned out to be a strategy that didn’t work,” Warren says.

He thinks there’s still a market for moderately priced comfort shoes.

“It’s probably being served at places like Famous Footwear, Shoe Carnival, Target and Walmart.”

Warren says the family’s other four stores are doing fine.

“The one out west has been kind of a bumpy road since they did the road construction over the summer, but it’s picking up where it left off.”

Famous Footwear to open in former Highlands Gastropub space on Rock Road

WICHITA — A new business is going in the former Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom space at 3731 N. Rock Road, but this time it’s not a restaurant.

Famous Footwear is taking the 7,500 square feet.

No one with the company returned calls for comment, but remodeling is under way, and it looks like the store should be open in a few months.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. and Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

After Highlands Gastropub closed in late 2009, Colorado-based BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill signed a 10-year lease for the space but didn’t end up coming.

Before the gastropub opened in the building, Serengeti Grill was briefly there, and Black Canyon Grille had a longer existence there before that.

In addition to the new Famous Footwear, the existing ones at Towne East Square and Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road will remain open. There also are two Famous Footwears on the west side.


Kirkland’s to leave Towne East Square for Eastgate Plaza

WICHITA — More than a decade after opening at Towne East Square, Kirkland’s is leaving the mall.

The home decor store is not going far.

It’s moving to Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock, most likely in early September.

“It’s just more convenient for our customers to drive up, run in and run out . . . instead of walking through the mall,” says Sarah Weaver, leasing manager at the Nashville, Tenn.-based company.

The chain has 280 stores in 28 states. As the company’s leases in malls expire, they’re moving to dominant shopping centers outside of the malls.

“It’s just a corporate real estate strategy that we’ve adopted,” Weaver says.

The Wichita move will take Kirkland’s from 5,755 square feet to 10,000 square feet adjacent to Famous Footwear.

Weaver says nearby tenants, including T.J. Maxx, Toys R Us and Barnes & Noble, are part of the attraction at Eastgate.

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