Halls Crown Center is starting its transition to Halls on Grand.
By JOYCE SMITH
The Kansas City Star
The upscale department store, which has operated in Crown Center since 1973, is having a consolidation sale and will close temporarily Sunday. It will re-open in September in a new 60,000-square-foot space on Level 3 of the Crown Center Shops at 2450 Grand Blvd.
In June 2013, Halls said it no longer made economic sense to operate two Halls stores within about 20 blocks. The Plaza store, at 211 Nichols Road, is scheduled to close Aug. 3.
The new Halls on Grand will take over much of the third floor of Crown Center Shops. It will have an expanded beauty department (5,000 square feet), a new contemporary men’s and women’s department called “The Bridge,” an in-store cafe and bar, spacious new fitting rooms with custom furniture and designer wall coverings, and valet parking.
Its children’s department, Kid Oh, is moving to its own storefront on Level 2. A March 13 soft opening is scheduled with grand opening events in April. The 1,760-square-foot shop will feature “distinctive, on-trend casual and dress-up apparel” for fashion-forward children.
Several third floor retailers have moved to Level 2 to make way. Others, like Victoria’s Secret, have closed, and some shops are in the process of closing.
• Function Junction, a locally owned kitchen and housewares retailer, will take an expanded space on Level 2. It will continue to operate on Level 3 until the day before the new location opens, sometime in late March. A grand opening is planned for April 4 and 5. Items are 30 to 70 percent off during its moving sale.
Function Junction, an exclusive tenant to the Crown Center Shops, also plans to enhance its culinary studio at the new location with more product demonstrations and other events.
• Wilderness Reflections, which sells wildlife gifts, Native American jewelry, minerals and children’s science toys, has moved to Level 2.
• Russian & European Giftware, which sells nesting dolls, Baltic amber, Polish pottery, and more, has temporarily closed. It will reopen as European Accents on Level 2 in March.
• The Missing Piece, hats and caps for men, women and children, is still operating on Level 3. It plans to move to Level 2 in March.
• Sister stores, Shang Tea Co. and Quen Stone Jewelry, jewelry, art and tea from the Far East, are both still operating on Level 3 and plan to open on Level 1 by early April.
• Off Center Theatre and Screenland Crown Center will remain on the north end of Level 3 and will be open during the Halls construction.
Several stores and food operations also will be upgrading, including the Best of Kansas City, Pen Place, Topsy’s Popcorn, and Pak Ling Express.
But there wasn’t enough space for every shop to relocate.
• After five years in Crown Center, Sportibles plans to close on March 23. Most items are now discounted 50 percent.
“We have had a huge amount of disappointed customers. They can find things here that they can’t find anywhere else,” said David Walby, owner of the pro and college sports apparel, memorabilia and collectibles shop. “We are a family owned business so we kind of depended on the income from that location. We would like to stay but we were never given the opportunity.”
Sportibles also has three other area locations and hopes to replace its Crown Center store in another “tourist” draw.
• Vivone’s, a locally owned women’s clothing store, plans to close March 9 after 28 years in Crown Center and 33 years in operation. It also is having a clearance sale.
Owner Nancy Paulson considered relocating in Crown Center but needed a large space, and that just wasn’t available.
“My customers are still upset. Many of them don’t know where they will shop,” Paulson said. “It was sort of a forced retirement but sometimes you have to be pragmatic and realize you can’t work forever.”
• Bacara Designs, unique jewelry and artifacts from around the world, closed in Crown Center Shops in late 2013. It opened a store in Oak Park Mall in Overland Park in May 2013 and will continue to operate that store.
As for the 55,000-square- foot Halls store on the Country Club Plaza, it will continue to operate until Aug. 3.
Several possible tenants have been rumored among consumers, but maybe one category can now be taken off the list.
Glenn Stephenson, vice president and division manager for Highwoods Properties, the Plaza’s landlord, said in a statement:
“We are working on some opportunities for Halls’ replacement that we think Kansas Citians will be pleased with. We have heard the rumors about a large discount retailer moving into Halls, and I can tell you that category is not in consideration for taking over that space.”
To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC