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Posts tagged: Spokane retail

Radio Shack plans huge store closures; no list announced for affected stores

Radio Shack announced it's going to close something like 1,1000 stores over the next year or so, roughly one of ever five it operates.

We don't have any list that details where those closures will be. We'll keep after that, hoping to find out the answer in the next few days.

Meanwhile, here's the visual hint that this was coming, when Radio Shack ran this TV ad during the Super Bowl. It cleverly lampoons its own stodgy image. The first minute shows a store clerk taking a call: “The '80s called. They want their store back.”

 

The 10 Commandments of Black Friday shopping, developed by Mint.com

Yes, we favor small business and local small shopping over chain shopping.

But since that's not everyone's choice, we'll offer up an infographic produced by Mint that alleges to be the Commandments of Black Friday.

Apparel retailer lululemon will open its first Spokane ‘showroom’ next week

Lululemon athletica will open its first Spokane store on March 30 in a downtown showroom on the second level of 117 N. Howard.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-company sells yoga-inspired apparel. Company spokeswoman Tracy Keough said the location will be a “cozier” showroom rather than a full retail store. In this case, it's the second level above eatery Soulful Soups.

“Showrooms are only open part of the week so that we can be out in the community meeting our neighbors and participating in local yoga and fitness classes,” she said in an email.

Hours will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The showroom will offer Saturday morning yoga at 9:30 a.m.

A grand opening will be held Saturday, March 31.

Marshalls to open its first Spokane store this Thursday

Long-awaited Marshalls will open its new Spokane location this Thursday, March 8.

The company is one of the country's larger off-price retailers, offering a variety of clothing for men and women. The Spokane store will fill 26,300 square feet in NorthTown Mall, last used by the NorthTown Rack.

This will be the first Marshalls store in the Spokane area.

Grand opening hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Store hours are 9;30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. -8 p.m. Sundays.

The store will hire about 60 full- and part-time workers.

Spokane Apple retail store to close for two hours Wednesday to honor Jobs

Apple retail stores, including the one in downtown Spokane, will close for part of Wednesday to allow staff workers to celebrate Steve Jobs. The celebration will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

During that time, employees company-wide are invited to view a live broadcast of a Jobs celebration occurring at  an outdoor amphitheater at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino

 

Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, died recently after a struggle with pancreatic cancer.

Spokane DirectBuy showroom shuts down; parent firm looks for franchisee

The Spokane showroom of DirectBuy, a nationwide, members-only shopping club, closed this week.
A spokeswoman at DirectBuy’s Indiana headquarters said the company is trying to find a new showroom for Spokane-area members but would not predict how soon that will be.
 
Company spokeswoman Sara Butler said DirectBuy is looking for another Spokane location to open a showroom. It’s also looking for another franchisee to run the business. The nearest DirectBuy showroom, for now, is in the Tri-Cities.
 
The previous Spokane franchisee was not identified in an email the company sent to its roughly 2,300 Spokane-area members.
 
DirectBuy has about 130 stores in North America, which sell discounts on furniture and household items. People join by paying between $3,000 and $6,000 for memberships that vary from two to three years, and then pay renewal fees when the terms expire.
 
Butler said DirectBuy could decide to open a corporate-run store in Spokane if the company finds a new building but not a new franchisee. “We think the Spokane market is a very good one,” she said.
 
The Spokane franchise opened in December 2003 and operated in a showroom at 10102 E. Knox in Spokane Valley.
 
As the economy tanked the number of DirectBuy showrooms began to close. News stories around the country have cited at least five in the past several months. A number of lawsuits have also been filed by former franchisees saying the DirectBuy parent company took advantage of the economic downturn and added to the debt those franchisees ended up owing, according to court documents.

Verizon’s Spokane area stores to start selling iPhone 4 at 7 a.m. Thursday

Verizon launches its sales blitz of the iPhone 4 with stores here opening bright and early Thursday.

We know the River Park Square Verizon location will open two hours early, at 7 a.m., to meet the first wave of buyers. Doors to the atrium will open at 4 a.m. to let shoppers get the line started.

All other River Park Square stores will open at 10 a.m.

Other Verizon stores in the region are likely following suit.

An assistant manager at the downtown store said the staff is gathering in RPS at 4:30 a.m. to prepare.

RPS is owned and operated by the Cowles Co., which also operates The Spokesman-Review.

Upscale Home Furnishings shuts its doors, files for Chapter 7

 

Joel Ferris III, owner of Upscale Home Furnishings at 2510 N. Monroe, has closed the Spokane business and said customers who provided consignment furniture will have the items returned in several weeks.

Ferris started the all-consignment furniture store in 2006. His family owned and operated popular downtown décor and furniture retailer Joel Inc. Upscale Home Furnishings had four employees, Joel said in an e-mail to Office Hours.

The business has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern Washington.  A hearing for creditors is set for Jan 25 at 2:30 p.m. at the U.S. Courthouse Bankruptcy Court in downtown Spokane.

(Photo is of Joel Ferris III from 2005, prior to moving the business to North Monroe location.)

Huppin’s opens doors and starts selling Apple products in Spokane

The new North Division Huppin’s store formally opens tomorrow, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m.

The newly remodeled location, at 8016 N. Division, will feature plenty of HDTVs, cameras, audio gear, camcorders, headphones and home theater systems.

It will also start selling Apple products. Huppin’s President Murray Huppin worked for most of the past year to sign a reseller deal that allows his company to sell just about everything Apple makes except iPads and iPhones.

Apple opened its own retail store in downtown Spokane in September. Huppin said that had no effect on his effort to become an Apple reseller.  Apple already has two area retail resellers – Best Buy, and Strong Solutions — both of which sell a full line of Apple computers, iPhones and iPads.

Huppin’s two stores will both sell Apple products. However its nationwide online service, OneCall, will not, Huppin said.

The deal came about as Huppin’s wanted to bring to its customers the smart and nifty devices that have made Apple the most valuable tech company in the world. Huppin said he believes Apple forged the deal in part because Huppin’s customers see the Spokane home-grown company as an innovator and clear leader in consumer electronics retailing.

Is the ‘mancession’ leaving guys short of good clothes? Maybe this suit drive makes sense

Men’s Wearhouse, the national men’s clothing retailer, is spending all September urging donations of used or good quality men’s items to pass along to people looking to upgrade their wardrobes.

The campaign is the National Suit Drive. Anyone who donates good or decent men’s items (anything from ties to a suit) gets a coupon earning a 25 percent discount for a purchase at Men’s Warehouse.

The national campaign’s pitch this year started with a “give-the-suits-off-their-backs” event in five cities, in which  teams of bare-chested men descended on the metro downtown, sporting posters urging guys to make donations.

The goal, according to the campaign, is to help unemployed males dress a little better for a job interview. The press kit claims 82 percent of job losses have affected men, “disproportionately hurting the male workforce,” said George Zimmer, Men’s Wearhouse founder and CEO. “By collecting and donating professional clothing, Men’s Wearhouse aims to help men ‘suit up’ for job interviews and offset the ‘mancession.’ “

Mancession or marketing ploy, you decide. The Spokane location to make donations is the Men’s Warehouse store at 5005 N Division.  All items donated during September will go to Spokane-based nonprofit The Artisans, which will handle the distribution of the clothes.

Inside the secret world of Trader Joe’s

You may think we’re on vacation here at OfficeHours central, but no. We do work a full shift, even in August.

We continue pondering the puzzle that is Trader Joe’s, which like Apple, ranks among the most secretive operations on the planet.

Many folks in Spokane know we have had antennae out, probing for signals that the TJ fleet plans to land a new store in the area. We’ve had e-mails, some blog posts and other signs suggesting something may be up. 

Officially, the answer from TJ’s has been: Spokane is not in the company’s two-year plan.

So there. In the meantime, you TJ fans can learn quite a bit more in the newest issue of CNNMoney magazine about the very private world that the California-based, German company-owned Trader Joe’s operates in.

The CNNMoney magazine article has several nice points to make about how the company got that way. Its popularity goes well beyond fan loyalty. Much like Apple, TJ’s invokes a fanatic faith that people in Spokane can identify with.


 

Applications accepted Monday at the new Hobby Lobby store in Spokane Valley

We’ve just mentioned the imminent opening of mega-hobby store, Hobby Lobby, in Spokane Valley this summer. Those interested in applying for work can line up on Monday, July 19, at the store location, 13902 E. Indiana.

A company spokesman said this store will hire between 30 and 50 workers. Jobs will be both full- and part-time.

Spokane retailer Huppin’s announces plans for North Side store

Spokane’s prospering electronics retail company, Huppin’s Hi-Fi, Photo & Video announced on Monday it plans to add a second store, at 8016 N. Division.  (Rendering by John Rovtar Design)

This will mark only the second retail outlet in the 102-year history of the company.

At one time Murray Huppin, the CEO and president of the company, said he considered other options and other locations. Eventually he decided to focus on the growing north Spokane corridor.

The new site is north of the North Division Costco and is a joint retail development with Mark Lax and Joel Huppin, the cousin of Murray Huppin. Lax is owner of Pawn 1, which will use part of the new building for expanded operations. The building will have space for one or more other retail tenants, Huppin said.

Apple still not saying anything about Spokane retail store

Buy iPadOn Feb. 22 this year The Spokesman-Review reported that Apple Inc. was interested in launching — and hiring for — a Spokane downtown Apple Store.

The retail community got very excited, the Apple fan base got very enthusiastic.

But Apple’s spokespeople never would say when the store would come to town. A Craigslist ad said it would go into River Park Square, a downtown mall owned by The Cowles Co., the same company that owns The Spokesman-Review.

Recently, Apple Spokeswoman Amy Barney said the tech company has nothing new to add, other than what was earlier reported.

Efforts to get more information on whether the first plan has changed, and when any store would arrive, have not been successful.

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