Cityscape

Country Club Plaza update: 3 closings, including a handbag store, and a CBD shop opens

Can retail be rescued? Why so many U.S. stores are closing

Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.
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Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.

After six years, the Vera Bradley store has closed on the Country Club Plaza.

Julia Bentley, spokeswoman for the Roanoke, Indiana-based company, said the 2,300-square-foot store was “not profitable.”

It officially closed Monday and workers were boxing up inventory Wednesday.

The chain — known for its quilted handbags and accessories — had opened at 319 Nichols Road in mid-2013, according to Kansas City Star archives.

In a statement, Bentley said Vera Bradley is “working to restore brand and company health by executing Vision 20/20, which includes taking a more aggressive stance on closing underperforming stores. Store closing decisions are never easy, but the performance of the store has been challenging for some time.”

Vera Bradley also has a store at Leawood’s Town Center Plaza that will remain open, and its products are sold at several area specialty and department stores including Dillard’s, Macy’s and Von Maur.

The Plaza also lost two other tenants in recent weeks:

The Plaza Wedding Chapel closed at 314 Ward Parkway. Owner Maggie Fisher’s packed schedule — a full-time job, aging parents and children in college — became too much and she couldn’t find a business partner to share the load. But she “lived the dream” for nearly two years.

The former Scooter’s Coffee space at 446 W. 47th St. is still dark after closing in late February. It had been on the Plaza since 2006.

The three closings are in addition to the previously reported shuttering of Cinemark Palace at the Plaza, which had been on the Plaza for 20 years. Officials gave no comments on its closing.

Now open

Green Grove, a Kansas City-based distributor of high-quality CBD oil and other CBD products, has taken a prominent corner space at 340 W. 47th St. (the northeast corner Broadway and 47th Street).

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Kansas City-based Green Grove specializes in CBD products including infusers, oils, capsules, edibles, skin care products, and pet products such as dog treats. Joyce Smith jsmith@kcstar.com

Founder and CEO Mike O’Hara plans to concentrate on internet sales but the brick-and-mortar store also will allow his customers an in-person experience.

His alternative and natural options include oils, capsules, edibles, skin care products, and pet products including dog treats.

He offers CBD hemp oil products as an “organic alternative to synthetic-derived medicines.”

Doob3D, which makes lifelike 3D printed replicas of people and/or their pets, relocated from Overland Park to the Plaza, 231 W. 47th St., as a pop-up in mid-May but now plans to stay longer.

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Fabian Conde, director of business development for Doob3D, with some 3D replicas. The pop-up business is going to stay longer on the Plaza. Joyce Smith jsmith@kcstar.com

Doob is a play on duplicate because customers can get a small replica of themselves to commemorate a milestone such as a graduation or a new baby. Couples can make Doobs as wedding toppers.

More than one customer has gotten down on their knee to propose in the 3D scanner. A quilt artist from St. Louis posed with some pieces to use for promotional purposes.

“Wherever your imagination wants to take it, as long as it fits into the ‘dooblicator’ — the 3D scanner,” said Fabian Conde, director of business development.

Prices range from the 4-inch “Buddy” at $125 to the 14-inch The Diva at $785.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.
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