Pathfinders Birkenstock to close

WICHITA — In February, Jill Dunning closed her west-side Pathfinders Birkenstock. Now, she’s closing her east-side store in Normandie at Central and Woodlawn.

“It’s kind of really sad to do that,” Dunning says. She’s owned the store for 10 years, but she says Pathfinders Birkenstock has been in the market more than 20 years total.

Lease expirations — and the prospect of signing for another five years — are what caused Dunning to decide to close both stores.

“It’s just time to move on,” she says. “I really wasn’t the retail-type person anyway.”

Dunning tried to sell the store.

“We didn’t have any takers.”

The last day of business will be Sept. 29.

The store’s going-out-of-business sale starts Saturday.


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.”


Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets still on track

WICHITA — Wal-Mart’s plans to bring its Neighborhood Market concept to Wichita are still progressing, but there don’t appear to be any done deals yet.

“We’re still under contract,” says Chris Goebel of Star Lumber.

Goebel hopes to sell his property at Central and Maize where he once planned the Gaslight Creek commercial development on more than 11 acres.

“We’ve had to do some extensions,” Goebel says of the contract.

That’s because there’s “a wee little bit of an environmental issue.”

Goebel says there are leaking underground storage tanks on another site — not his — that are of concern.

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