Mattress Hub expands in Kansas City again

WICHITA — Wichita-based Mattress Hub is continuing its rapid expansion in the Kansas City area.

“We’re opening a store in Shawnee this weekend,” Ryan Baty says.

He and Mark Barrientos founded the company in 2008. With the new Shawnee store and one that will follow in Olathe in the first week of 2013, the chain will have 23 stores in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

The first two Kansas City-area stores were in Overland Park. Baty says he’s working on a fifth in Johnson County but doesn’t have a lease signed so he doesn’t want to say where yet.

“Kansas City’s a big mattress retail market,” Baty says. “It’s dominated by Nebraska Furniture Mart and Mattress Firm.”

Still, he’s projecting to do about a dozen stores there in the next two or three years.

“We feel like there’s room to come in and grab some market share,” Baty says. “We just feel like there’s room for a different customer experience in Kansas City.”

Baty says the company had double-digit growth in 2012, and he’s predicting big growth in 2013 as well. It won’t be outside the company’s three-state area, though.

“We have a pretty narrow focus right now on where we’re trying to maximize our growth,” Baty says. “We have some opportunities we’re going to try to capitalize on.”

Mattress Firm to open at New Leaf Plaza

WICHITA — Mattress Firm, which just opened a new store near Central and I-235, is opening another new store on the west side. This one will go in the former Hollywood Video space at New Leaf Plaza, the shopping center at 21st and Amidon that used to be known as Marina Lakes. This will make the chain’s seventh Wichita store.

“If you look at the map of Wichita, we’ve got most of the shopping areas covered,” says franchisee Emmanuel Giannas, who has two partners in the business.

Giannas says the time is right to go to that area.

“That was once a very much highly shopped area,” he says.

With the addition of the Walmart Neighborhood Market at New Leaf, Giannas expects it to be a popular area once again.

“It’s going to bring back a lot of shopping to the area.”

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Family Christian Stores to move from Normandie Center to Eastgate Plaza

WICHITA — After more than a decade in Normandie Center, Family Christian Stores is moving to Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road.

“We’re actually going where we feel more of our customers shop,” says Paul Sobol, vice present of real estate for the Michigan-based chain.

Normandie is at Central and Woodlawn, which Sobol says is “not a regional shopping area.”

New stores at Eastgate, such as Ross Dress For Less, “really have a similar customer so that we feel we can reach out to more and more people,” Sobol says.

There’s also a Family Christian Stores location in NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road that’s been open for about seven years.

Nationally, there are almost 300 stores, which sell Christian-themed products, such as gifts, books, jewelry, CDs and DVDs.

“We reach out to the whole Christian community,” Sobol says.

The new east-side store will be in the former Mattress Firm space, which is about 4,000 square feet. That’s slightly larger than the Normandie space.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons and Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. handled the deal.

Look for the Eastgate Family Christian Stores to open around Oct. 25.

Blockbuster stores continue to close; New Balance, Heads Village Shoe Store and Mattress Firm are possible replacements

UPDATED – Blockbuster stores around the Wichita area continue to close — and more closings are planned — but neither the local owner nor anyone with corporate will discuss it.

“Legally as per our franchise agreement with Blockbuster Corporate I am not allowed to comment on any issues regarding Blockbuster,” Ryan Wasinger of Major Video of Kansas said in an e-mail.

Major Video is part of Fugate Enterprises.

Patty Sullivan, a spokeswoman for Blockbuster nationally, said in an e-mail: “Blockbuster does not comment on any individual store closings. We have previously stated that we are in the process of recapitalizing the company and reducing the number of stores in the U.S. is part of that effort.”

There are several new stores planned for various Blockbuster spaces.

It looks like Cindy Warren is planning to bring two shoe stores to the former Blockbuster space near 21st and Maize.

Warren owns Heads Village Shoe Store at Douglas and Oliver, Fair Village Shoe Store at 2407 W. 13th St., the New Balance shoe store at 1720 N. Webb, and the Little Feet Boutique children’s shoe store adjoining Heads.

It sounds like the store at 21st and Maize will be divided into a New Balance and possibly a Heads store. It does not look like any of Warren’s current stores will be closing.

Across town at Kellogg and Rock, the Blockbuster on the southeast corner apparently will be closing, and Mattress Firm is negotiating to take the space.

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