In just a few short weeks, first-to-market retail and entertainment companies have created nearly 1,000 jobs in Johnson County.
▪ The new Furniture Mall of Kansas in Olathe has 123 people on staff.
The family-owned business closed a Lawrence location in late March and in early June opened in the 161,000-square-foot, former Benchmark Home Furnishings building.
The store, at 2125 E. Kansas City Road, is across from Bass Pro Shops in Olathe. It has five departments: RoomMakers, Discovery Furniture, Marling’s Furniture, Mattress Headquarters and Abbey Flooring Headquarters for what the owners call a “big box selection with the feel and experience of a small family store.”
It also has a clearance area. Brands include Artisan Home Furniture, Bernhardt, and England.
About 20 employees relocated from the Lawrence store and it also hired 103 additional team members.
▪ Topgolf - the high-tech driving range/bar/restaurant towering above the landscape at 10611 Nall Ave. in Overland Park - plans to open at 9 a.m. Friday. The Dallas company expects to serve 450,000 customers in its first year of operation, and needed more than 450 workers to help run the 65,000-square-foot, three-level center — servers, bartenders, managers, kitchen, maintenance, and guest services workers.
At Topgolf, players will line up in 102 climate-controlled hitting bays. Their golf balls will contain computer microchips that will track shots' accuracy and distance and award points for hitting targets from 20 to 215 yards away. Golf pros also will be on hand to offer tips. The “top" in Topgolf stands for “target oriented practice.” Customers also can come in just for a bite to eat or a drink.
The company is quickly expanding and currently has 17 locations. Topgolf officials said the Overland Park location, No. 18 in the chain, has already shattered the company record for event bookings prior to an opening.
“I found this interesting considering Overland Park is not nearly our largest market, but so far it is a record-breaking one,” said Adrienne Chance, spokeswoman for Topgolf. ”I think there is a really strong business market there and we’ve also had a lot of private social events booked.”
▪ Scheels plans to open at 9 a.m. Saturday in Corbin Park, 6503 W. 135th St., Overland Park. The sporting goods megastore chain’s two-story, 220,000-square-foot anchor store will have nearly 375 employees.
The stores carry athletic clothing, footwear and accessories, as well as gear for hunting, fishing and camping. Other items include sunglasses, watches and backpacks. It also will have such attractions as a 16,000- gallon aquarium, a 65-foot, 16-car Ferris Wheel, shooting galleries, sports simulators, and a restaurant and fudge shop.
▪ The Container Store, which plans to open at 9 a.m. Saturday in Hawthorne Plaza, 4701 W. 119th St., Overland Park, hired about 40 people. The company says its full-time salespeople receive more than 260 hours of training their first year and the company pays them 50 to 100 percent more than than the retail industry average.
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