Archive for Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grocery store to close its doors

Jane Ferris shops Wednesday around what’s left on the shelves at Wolf Creek Marketplace, 15256 Wolf Creek Parkway. Empty shelves, clearance baskets and a somber mood are all that remains as the grocery store prepares to shut down following disappointing sales since its opening in July 2009.

Jane Ferris shops Wednesday around what’s left on the shelves at Wolf Creek Marketplace, 15256 Wolf Creek Parkway. Empty shelves, clearance baskets and a somber mood are all that remains as the grocery store prepares to shut down following disappointing sales since its opening in July 2009.

February 24, 2010

After only seven months in business, Wolf Creek Marketplace is closing its doors.

The 44,000-square-foot Basehor supermarket with its lighted howling wolf décor opened July 17, 2009, and will see its last customers this weekend.

Operating manager Kevin Barclay said the store didn’t have an exact closing date but would most likely not stay open past Sunday. The marketplace didn’t have enough shoppers to keep it afloat in such a grueling economy, Barclay said.

“We just didn’t have enough traffic,” Barclay said Wednesday. “The people in Basehor really supported it, but we didn’t have enough traffic from the outlying areas, I think because Basehor isn’t really a destination shopping area.”

Barclay cited lack of development along Wolf Creek Parkway and the absence of the store’s planned second access point off 150th Street as additional reasons it needed to shut down.

“To me, a lot of it is that street that never went in,” Barclay said. “You know, you’re driving along and thinking, ‘Oh I missed my turn.’ You should have another turn, but instead, I’m forcing you to take that one turn. Then it becomes a hassle. I really think that hurt us.”

The store was a much-awaited, highly requested business in Basehor, and Barclay along with Benchmark Management owners Ed McIntosh and John Bell fought for more than five years to make it happen.

But the grand opening was both a little too late and a little too early, Barclay said.

“We were about two years too late getting it in because our projections were from years ago before the economy bottomed out and the rooftops stopped building up,” Barclay said. “And we were about two years too early for this Cerner Corporation to go in at The Legends. With that coming in, those jobs and people moving here, this area’s just going to boom. It was a huge culmination of things that caused this closing.”

Basehor Mayor Terry Hill expressed his sadness Wednesday about the demise of the grocery store, but said he was optimistic the building could be reused or a new store could open in the city.

“I’m very disappointed,” Hill said. “I think the community supported it, and the city is disappointed it didn’t survive. We’re looking forward to the possibility of a new supermarket coming and being successful. The community needs it.”

Shoppers taking items off the store’s now sparse shelves to place in nearly empty carts tell the same solemn story of Wolf Creek Marketplace’s collapse.

“I’m really sad,” Basehor resident Jane Ferris said. “The residents of the city waited a long time to have our own supermarket. Whether it was because of the economy or whatever else, I don’t know, but all of us are really sad.”

As Barclay looks around at what was a bustling business just seven months ago, he can still find a few reasons to smile.

“I was blessed with a wonderful crew,” he said, adding he has already sent lists of his staff to other stores in the state to help everyone find jobs. “They worked really hard. And I need to thank all the people who did support us. That’s what I will miss the most, all the people who came in who we got to know by name. I’ll sure miss them.”

Comments

Jason Bailey 4 years, 9 months ago

Blame roads or whatever you want, if it makes you feel better...I and many I have talked to point to your missteps in pricing the first month you were open as the nail in your coffin.

You were overpriced compared to Price Chopper just a few miles away. Even though you fixed that within 60 days, the damage was done and the perception was that you were overpriced.

Gotta get these things right out of the gate---you have one shot with many people.

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emcintosh 4 years, 9 months ago

You are correct Jason the pricing was an issue out of the gate and we did work feverishly to coorect it. Not sure wether our not you are from Basehor or Leavenworth County but people with the attitude that you reflect is mind boggiling to me, since we opend the store the new tax revenue for the City was about $30,000.00 dollars the new tax collected in the nexst few months will be $0 dollars. I invested nearly 10 years and all the money I had as well as the other partners did. All I can really say is thanks for your support and all the others who harbour the same feelings, the city of Bonner Springs appricate you tax dollars.

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tbannwarth 4 years, 9 months ago

@emcintosh- I would like to thank you for your efforts in bringing Basehor a store and taking a chance on us. My family and I made a point to go the "Wolf" store as my kids called it rather than out of town stores and Wal Mart. We are sad to see it close and hope a better economy may bring its return.

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Linda Dodd 4 years, 9 months ago

I am sad to see the store go. We recently moved to the area and was glad to support the local grocery store. I hope that it re-opens when things get better with the economy. Too bad more didn't support it.

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emcintosh 4 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for your support tbannwarth and we will really miss customers like yourself that did give your support and i share in you thought that soon the Marketplace will be reopened even if it is with some one else in charge. I hate the thought of such a nice facility sitting empty.

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MidwestLady 4 years, 9 months ago

I've been going since they opened the doors. Really liked the store. Loved the people. They were so nice. And the floral arrangements were the best of any that I have ever seen anywhere. I wonder where those ladies went to work? I sure would like to buy arrangements from them in the future. I went today and actually shed some tears in the bakery. I have so many good memories of taking my son up there for his sample of baked beans, and his little sample of cake or cookies at the bakery. He enjoyed seeing everyone up there and interacting with them. That's what I will miss most, the memories of taking him to the store, having him help me shop. I hope the store opens back up soon somehow.

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cbmkr 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes it was a very nice store,and the prices were too high, but you must look beyond that to see what went wrong.The planning probably brought more problems than one would think.With all the Tax breaks ,Bonds and Guaranties the Red Flag was up before it all got started.Why would you build a complex without having all the infrastructure plumbing utilities access to the highway finished. Another problem is that studies done by other store franchises showed the community was not stable enough to support a store of this size.Although the store being very nice may have been a little out of place in the community and been better suited for southern Johnson County. A smaller store with the items that were more in demand for our area would have helped a lot and if that demand over time was there the store could have expanded when needed at a later date.Now we have a larger problem will this project ever get finished ,if not it will be an eyesore to the community and hope fully not discourage other businesses from wanting to open retail stores in this area.

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cjm_ell 4 years, 9 months ago

I am very disappointed that the store is already closed. I very much wanted it to thrive and my family made a genuine effort to support it by doing all of our grocery shopping there for the short time it was open. Having said that, I can't help but to think this happened mainly due to poor planning. Going out of business in just 7 months proves that the owners had no idea what to expect and lacked sufficient funding to open the store. With sufficient funding and a realistic business plan, the store should have been open for at least a year, regardless of sales. Also, I agree with cbmkr that the size and features of the store were grossly mismatched for the customer base and that it never had a realistic chance of sustaining itself. The butcher, bakery and deli departments had to be major expenses. Anyway, now we are permantly left with the rtemaining eye-sore. Now, the first thing most people will see when coming to Basehor will be this empty building with virtually no prospects. On top of that, potential store owners in the future will likely be deterred since the previous store failed.

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cjm_ell 4 years, 9 months ago

Oops, I meant slightly mismatched

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Frank Bryant 4 years, 9 months ago

I feel sad each time I drive by.

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