The vacancy created in the Roseburg Valley Mall when Sears closed is now not scheduled to be filled until early next year, according to mall co-owner John Emmi.
“The stores we have lined out won’t open until February, March or April,” he said Tuesday. “Marshall’s (a clothing store) is the big anchor store that we’ve got, but the leases aren’t yet signed on the others. All the stores seem to be expanding right now, so it’s just been a slow process.”
Emmi said negotiations are under way with a shoe store and a sporting goods store.
Sears closed April 1, leaving 65,000 square feet empty. There had been some reports that new retail stores would move in and open up prior to the upcoming holiday season, but that won’t be the case.
Emmi said that since Sears closed “mall traffic has slowed down a tiny bit.” He said “a huge Christmas plan has been implemented” to enhance the holiday shopping season. He said about 10 seasonal vendors are lined up, and the mall is recruiting another 10 or so. Emmi added that big Santa displays will be set up and some music recitals are also being planned.
The co-owner explained that some remodeling has been done in the former Sears space and more is scheduled for after the holidays.
“There’s been tons of interest for interior spaces following Marshall’s commitment,” Emmi said. “From what I understand in talking to other people in the mall business, Roseburg is a fairly hot market for retailers to come into. There’s been quite a bit of response and it takes time, but from what I hear the time frame (to fill space) is shorter than at other mall locations.”
The Roseburg Valley Mall property is presently home to 38 businesses.
Industrial supply store opens
Industrial Source has expanded and opened a store in the Roseburg area.
The family-owned business, which started in 1945 in Eugene, opened its seventh sales and distribution center a week ago at 325 E. Happy Valley Road in the Green area. The 10,000-square-foot building was formerly the home of United Pipe & Supply.
There will actually be two businesses under the same roof. National Fire Fighter Corp., Industrial Source’s sister company, will operate at that address.
Industrial Source is a producer and supplier of medical and specialty gases, and welding and metal fabrication products. National Fire Fighter Corp. offers fire safety and suppression products.
David Ficker, the manager of the Eugene store, will split his time and manage the Roseburg store on an interim basis. Five full-time employees have been hired at the Roseburg store.
“A lot of customers from Roseburg were calling us in Eugene and asking us to service them down there,” Ficker said. “We’ve very excited about it.”
The hours of the two new businesses are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Walmart expansion complete
The scheduled completion date of the expansion at the Roseburg Walmart store was Oct. 3 and after about 20 months of work, manager Jeremy Smith was happy to announce the project was 100 percent done. That includes the parking lot.
The store at 2125 N.W. Stewart Parkway is now a Walmart Supercenter. It features an expanded grocery department, Smith said.
Sixty-five employees, both full and part time, have been added to the store’s payroll, and it now has 265 employees.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Smith said.
TV, internet service center opens
There’s a new experience being offered on the frontier.
More specifically, at the Frontier Experience Center that is now open at 326 S. Old Pacific Highway in Tri City. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Saturday. The store’s regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday though Friday. One full-time employee and two part timers have been hired to work in the store.
The center will allow customers to test and purchase TV and Internet services, upgrade services, make billing inquiries and to submit payments.
“Most products we offer are up and working in the store,” said Will Burge, the general manager for Frontier’s Oregon-California coastal district. “People can come in and use them to try them out.”
• On Biz is not an endorsement, only an introduction to businesses in our community. Reporter Craig Reed can be reached at 541-957-4210 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.