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  1. #1
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    Default Stores Closing In Stillwater

    It's more than caused from online shopping. I think Stillwater is still just too small in the proper demographics to support much in the way of retail. Most college students, who make up close to half the population, have little money to spend after fast food, beer and rent. The JCPenney store in Enid isn't closing.

    "Retail Apocalypse" Hits Stillwater As Chain Stores Close



    The shift from brick and mortar retail to online shopping is a national trend having local impact.

    The City of Stillwater reported in April that sales tax revenues were down for the fifth straight month in a row. Space in shopping centers like Lakeview Pointe sits empty even as more stores announce closures.

    Traditional business models are being disrupted in a process that’s been dubbed “The Retail Apocalypse.”

    Online retail has seen consistent double-digit growth over the past decade and eaten up retail market share, hurting malls and shopping centers, according to a report by investment website The Motley Fool.

    “The disruption of internet retail exposes the fact that maybe there has been too much retail out there,” Nicholas Rossolillo wrote in an April 29 story for the site. “Stores are closing and the industry is consolidating into fewer players.”

    He says that may be good news for those retailers left standing but it's bad news for people in smaller towns and isolated areas who have fewer shopping options and worse news for cities that rely on sales tax revenue.

    Business Insider reported in March that one of the biggest waves of retail closures in recent years was underway, with more than 3,500 stores nationwide expected to close in the next few months.

    Department stores like Macy’s, Sears, Kmart and JC Penney announced they would be closing less profitable locations, including Stillwater’s JC Penney store.

    Ascena Retail Group, which owns Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant, Justice, Catherine’s, Maurice’s and Dress Barn announced in June that it would be closing at least 250 but possibly up to 650 stores over the next two years, including Stillwater’s Dress Barn, which closed June 24.

    Ascena CEO David Jaffe told investors during a conference call that the company has seen “persistent traffic decline” in its stores, according to a United Press International report.

    Bankruptcies are also prompting store closures.

    Payless ShoeSource announced it would shutting down stores after it filed bankruptcy last spring. The company’s Ponca City location is on the list of stores to be closed but the Stillwater’s location will remain open.

    Teen retailer Rue 21 has filed for bankruptcy and will be closing 12 of its 31 Oklahoma stores, including its Bartlesville and Stillwater locations. The company has more than 1,000 stores nationwide and will be closing 400 of them.

    Like Stillwater’s JC Penney, which announced several months ago that it would be closing, Rue 21 is in the process of clearing out its inventory before shutting its doors permanently.

    Staff at Stillwater’s Rue 21 said the store will close in September. Returns won’t be given on anything bought after June 29 but anything bought before then can be returned as long as it’s within the store’s normal 30-day return period.

    All the closures add to Stillwater’s inventory of vacant retail space.

    When JC Penney closes it Pioneer Square location at the end of July, it will leave more than 33,000 square feet of prime retail space empty.

    The 24,000-square-foot building at Main Street and Hall of Fame that housed the bankrupt and liquidated Hastings Entertainment has been vacant since October and without a new tenant, weeds are beginning to poke through the asphalt parking lot.

    Lakeview Pointe, an open air mall anchored by Petco, Best Buy and Belk, lists five spaces totaling more than 20,000 square feet as available for lease.

    It’s part of a new reality that cities in Oklahoma and across the nation are adjusting to. Like many, Stillwater has seen a consistent downward trend, which troubles city officials because Oklahoma towns rely almost exclusively on sales tax for their operating budgets.

    City of Stillwater Chief Financial Officer Melissa Reames said in April that sales tax makes up 67 percent of the city’s general fund revenue.

    "Certainly, the playing field has changed," she said. "The internet has changed retail strategy. A few things can be done, such as expand the taxable base, which is to lower the tax exemptions and enhanced compliance as far as auditing sales remitted."

    Although internet retailer Amazon has agreed to voluntarily collect and remit sales tax in Oklahoma, it's too early to tell how much that will help cities like Stillwater. For now, they have little choice but to tighten their belts as the retail business reinvents itself.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Why can't we get places like HomeGoods (their new concept HomeSense), Bed Bath and Beyond, ACE Hardware, or MetroShoe open in Stillwater? I think a mix or ALL would do well in Stillwater.
    I would love for a Target and Home Depot, out west, with a new movie theatre and a couple of restaurants possibly a Dunkin or Starbucks...Why can't this happen? Stillwater is growing! New plats for homes in Traden Heights, The Canyons, etc. have all been filed recently.

    Your thoughts?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Quote Originally Posted by _Cramer_ View Post
    Why can't we get places like HomeGoods (their new concept HomeSense), Bed Bath and Beyond, ACE Hardware, or MetroShoe open in Stillwater? I think a mix or ALL would do well in Stillwater.
    I would love for a Target and Home Depot, out west, with a new movie theatre and a couple of restaurants possibly a Dunkin or Starbucks...Why can't this happen? Stillwater is growing! New plats for homes in Traden Heights, The Canyons, etc. have all been filed recently.

    Your thoughts?
    I would think it is population density. I look at other cities around Stillwater's population and they do not have things like Homegoods or Bed Bath and Beyond (Enid, Muskogee, Midwest City). Though Moore has most of those and has about 12k more residents but it could be because of the location near OKC and Norman.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Quote Originally Posted by FighttheGoodFight View Post
    I would think it is population density. I look at other cities around Stillwater's population and they do not have things like Homegoods or Bed Bath and Beyond (Enid, Muskogee, Midwest City). Though Moore has most of those and has about 12k more residents but it could be because of the location near OKC and Norman.
    Adding more people will help. Stillwater has of this year gone over 50,000, if recent upward trends weren't reversed. However, limited spending ability of more college students doesn't help much. It would be nice if a large strip mall could finally be added at the SW corner of W. 6th and Country Club Rd. but has been on the back burner for years, probably due to inability to find anchor stores for it. The Internet's negative impact on brick and mortar retail was probably already being noted back then.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Restaurant closure shock in Stillwater. Mojo's closed:

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    I'm sorry, I didn't go to Mojo's often enough for their roast beef, fried okra and wonderful mini cornbread muffins. Town Hall downtown has also just closed. On the bright side, a couple of former restaurants are in the remodeling stages to become new ones.
    http://www.stwnewspress.com/news/no-..._medium=social

  7. #7

    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Stan Clark just can't seem to keep anything going besides Eskimo and Mexico Joe's. I personally liked Josesppi's and Stillwater Bay. Davinci's is way better than Josesppi's now though. I never made it into Mojo's.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    Stan Clark just can't seem to keep anything going besides Eskimo and Mexico Joe's. I personally liked Josesppi's and Stillwater Bay. Davinci's is way better than Josesppi's now though. I never made it into Mojo's.
    True, how Mexico Joe's is doing well. I was there for happy hour Friday evening, and it didn't lack much being packed. OSU isn't even in session. Interesting how Mexico Joe's does well against 4 Mexican owned restaurants.

    Davinci's and Olive Garden must have made Joseppi's fail. They still rule. But the lasagna and bread are better at Davinci's. The opening of the Red Lobster probably led to the Bay's doom. OSU students don't do much to help keep Stillwater restaurants in business. It's most up to non-students and out of towners to try to keep them open.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunty View Post
    True, how Mexico Joe's is doing well. I was there for happy hour Friday evening, and it didn't lack much being packed. OSU isn't even in session. Interesting how Mexico Joe's does well against 4 Mexican owned restaurants.

    Davinci's and Olive Garden must have made Joseppi's fail. They still rule. But the lasagna and bread are better at Davinci's. The opening of the Red Lobster probably led to the Bay's doom. OSU students don't do much to help keep Stillwater restaurants in business. It's most up to non-students and out of towners to try to keep them open.
    Yeah, I am sure it was Olive Garden that took down Joseppi's. I personally don't understand how anyone would rather eat at Olive Garden than Joseppi's or Davinci's. By the time I showed up in Stillwater (2002) Red Lobster was already there, so I didn't know the time line of it opening vs Bay closing.

    The other retail closing doesn't really surprise me. Half the town is only there 8 months out of the year, and then many of them leave most weekends, especially the ones with extra cash. I think Stillwater had been punching above their weight with the more recent retail gains.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    Yeah, I am sure it was Olive Garden that took down Joseppi's. I personally don't understand how anyone would rather eat at Olive Garden than Joseppi's or Davinci's. By the time I showed up in Stillwater (2002) Red Lobster was already there, so I didn't know the time line of it opening vs Bay closing.

    The other retail closing doesn't really surprise me. Half the town is only there 8 months out of the year, and then many of them leave most weekends, especially the ones with extra cash. I think Stillwater had been punching above their weight with the more recent retail gains.
    For many businesses, it's left up to the townies to keep them open year round. In addition to that, I think out of towners coming in helps, such as in keeping the strip open during the summer.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Kyoto closed. You gotta be kidding me. I loved going there. Best fried rice anywhere.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Stores Closing In Stillwater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunty View Post
    For many businesses, it's left up to the townies to keep them open year round. In addition to that, I think out of towners coming in helps, such as in keeping the strip open during the summer.
    I actually filter a lot of out of town money into Stillwater, through District, Summit, Da Vincis, Hideaway and Joe's , but my in-laws live there.

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