Another longtime retailer is leaving downtown.
Maurices, a retailer of women’s clothing in downtown for about 20 years, has closed its store at 739 Mass. in preparation for a move to South Iowa Street.
“We really just wanted to be around more like businesses,” said Khara Loeppke, store manager.
Maurices has signed a deal to occupy newly constructed store space at 3226 S. Iowa St., which is adjacent to the Famous Footwear store and is in the same shopping center as Kohl’s Department Store. The store is expected to open to the public at 10 a.m. Friday.
Loeppke said the size of the store will be about the same as the store’s downtown location, but it’s better designed to allow for more merchandise.
She said the main reason the company decided to move the store was for a change in atmosphere.
“Downtown seems to cater more to specialty shops and restaurants, and the hours out here are more comparable to ours,” Loeppke said.
Maurices was one of the handful of downtown retailers that stayed open until 9 p.m. on a regular basis. Downtown leaders have been discussing whether retailers should stay open later, but there’s been a lack of consensus.
At a meeting on Wednesday, members of Downtown Lawrence Inc. directed the organization’s executive director to put together data on what type of sales volume downtown stores have had by staying open later.
“We definitely want to maintain a variety of retail options, and we still think we do have a great variety,” said Jane Pennington, executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc.
Loeppke said, to her knowledge, a new tenant for Maurices’ former downtown space had not yet been found. The move comes after Arensberg Shoes, Silver Works and More, and The Palace Cards & Gifts all announced earlier this year that they were closing their downtown stores.