By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Courtesy of Jack Henry
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
One of Kansas City's oldest clothing stores is shuttering its doors on the Country Club Plaza.
The owners announced that a going-out-of-business sale will soon begin for the 83-year-old business. The store, which is located at 47th and Jefferson streets, is closed until the final sale starts at 9 a.m. June 5.
"This represents the end of an era for a Kansas City icon," said Spiro Arvanitakis, one of the store's owners. "When the clothes are gone, the Jack Henry brand will be gone as well."
He said the clothing industry is going to a more contemporary look "and Jack Henry was not doing the contemporary."
Customers who came to the store on Tuesday were stunned and disappointed by the announcement. The final purchase will be rung up in September.
Liberty resident Jack Downing Henry started the store. Due to his friendship and business relationship with J.C. Nichols, he opened in 1931 one of the first shops on Nichols' Plaza. He initially offered only hats and accessories.
Henry would later sell his operations. The stores eventually were throughout Kansas City as well as in Omaha and Wichita. But a retail slowdown left only the Plaza store open.
The Arvanitakis family bought the store in 1995 and relocated it to its current location.
This is the second longtime Kansas City luxury retailer that will leave the Plaza in 2014. Halls this summer will close its Plaza location after 50 years in operation.
Arvanitakis said the closing has nothing to do with the Plaza's operators.
But some customers are unhappy that longtime stores are moving out while trendier newer stores are moving in.
"I think they are tending to gravitate to the young people who have money to spend and they're going to spend it," Plaza shopper Doris May said.
Others say the cost tends to draw older shoppers to the Plaza.
Jack Henry customer Mike Braude said the Plaza is losing too many unique-to-Kansas-City stores.
"It's a great Kansas City institution that I hate to see gone," he said. "It's very unfortunate. The Plaza is getting to look just like every other city. I think it's a sad thing."
Highwood Properties, which oversees the Plaza, issued the following statement:
When it comes to working, shopping and living in Kansas City, we believe that the Country Club Plaza has it all, for both old and young residents and visitors. There's a great mix of gourmet dining and world class shopping - everything from exclusive boutiques to local shops and restaurants, all of which appeal to the dynamic audience we cater to. It takes a smart mix of trendsetting retailers and local favorites that all work together to create an incredible energy and truly unique experience that people can only find on the Plaza. We are dedicated to ensuring that the Plaza remains a favorite destination for Kansas Citians and visitors today and tomorrow.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:43:54 GMT
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