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Archive for Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kansas Sampler to open in downtown Lawrence

April 22, 2010

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Kansas Sampler to join downtown businesses

Work is under way at the former Blue Heron Furnishings site to convert the store to a Kansas Sampler. Enlarge video

A big dose of Kansas is coming to Massachusetts Street.

The Kansas Sampler — a regional chain store of Sunflower State-themed apparel and souvenirs — plans to open by early May at 921 Mass., the large space formerly occupied by Blue Heron Furniture store.

“If you are in Lawrence visiting, you are going to end up on Mass Street at some point,” said Aaron Liebert, co-owner of Kansas Sampler. “We want to be the must-see retail location on Mass.”

About 60 percent of the store’s merchandise will be KU-themed shirts, hats, or other Jayhawk-oriented products. The remainder of the store’s offerings will include Kansas-produced food products ranging from salsas to barbecue sauces, Kansas guide books, leather goods, and the old Wizard of Oz standbys.

The new lease ends speculation about whether one of downtown’s larger vacant spaces would be turned into a restaurant. Building owner Dick Raney said he turned down about four bar and restaurant proposals for the space.

“It was important to me to get a retailer,” Raney said. “I really don’t understand why downtown has to go the way it has recently with all the bars and restaurants. I think that can change some.”

Liebert said he was attracted to the entertainment feel that downtown has, and he believes his business will be in a good position to capitalize off of it with late evening hours. The store will be open until 9 p.m. every day except Sundays.

The Lawrence store will be the company’s seventh store in the area, with the others in Overland Park, Mission, Topeka, Leawood, Olathe and Kansas City, Mo.

Liebert said he hopes to have the store — which will employ 15 to 30 people, depending upon the season — open by May 1. A grand opening is set for the following weekend, which is Mother’s Day weekend.

The 921 Mass. space has been vacant since August, when Blue Heron closed its furniture store. Blue Heron has since reopened in North Lawrence at 642 Locust.

Comments

d_prowess 4 years, 4 months ago

Open till 9pm, huh. Well, maybe this is just the test case downtown needs to see if stores can make the revenue to offset the expenses of staying open later during the week. The traditional argument seemed to always be that there wasn't.

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mightyquin 4 years, 4 months ago

I think this will be a great addition to downtown. Kudos to Dick Ramey for holding out for a retailer and not letting another bar or restaurant move in.

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rabb 4 years, 4 months ago

"Liebert said he was attracted to the entertainment feel that downtown has, and he believes his business will be in a good position to capitalize off of it with late evening hours. The store will be open until 9 p.m. every day except Sundays."

“It was important to me to get a retailer,” Raney said. “I really don’t understand why downtown has to go the way it has recently with all the bars and restaurants. I think that can change some.”


The guy that leased the building likes the "entertainment feel" of downtown.
The owner of the building doesn't like all the bars and restaurants downtown.
Gotta love Lawrence!

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hawkman8950 4 years, 4 months ago

Wait a minute, will Fortune 500 Lew and Mouthpiece Marchiony force this store to close down since it has Kansas in the title of the company?? lol

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Haiku_Cuckoo 4 years, 4 months ago

No need to. Kansas Sampler sells officially licensed KU gear, unlike the fool that ran Joe College.

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hawkman8950 4 years, 4 months ago

guess the sarcasm was missed, darn keyboard always hiding it

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puddleglum 4 years, 4 months ago

hawkman, that is funny. I have wondered why ljworld gets to use 'KU' blue as the type-color print for users...somebody needs to get a lawsuit going.

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emptymind 4 years, 4 months ago

Fortune 500 Lew and Mouthpiece Marchiony? How appropriate...nice shot hawkman.

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puddleglum 4 years, 4 months ago

there is a bunch a of wildcat stuff at the salvation army in topeka. there is also the sign on I-70 "because the hall of fame can wait" which cracks me up every time I drive by... I wish you would buy that and tuck it away out south.

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CreatureComforts 4 years, 4 months ago

I saw plenty of K-State stuff the other day in the trash

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bad_dog 4 years, 4 months ago

I know that billboard, puddle. There's ol' Bill Snyder pointing at something out on the field...

I've often thought how funny it would be to put one of those conversation "bubbles" on that billboard-you know, like the kind they use in cartoons. The caption in the bubble would say "Pull my finger".

Childish, I know, but if K-State wants to put up billboards in KU territory and then their supporters deface Jayhawk signs around Manhattan, it just seems like fair payback.

Oh well, back to fantasy world...

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CLARKKENT 4 years, 4 months ago

WILL BE NICE IF WE CAN FINALLY BUY SOME PURPLE STUFF IN LAWRENCE. HOPE LEW WILL ALLOW. [SMILE]

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puddleglum 4 years, 4 months ago

I think Kstate purple is technically KU trademarked "blue" and "red" mixed together so it just a matter of time before Willy Wildcat ends up wearing some other color. I was thinking something like orange and yellow. Or there is always "second-place green" available.

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davidsmom 4 years, 4 months ago

I shop at the Kansas Sampler in Mission. It's my favorite store. They carry items from several Big 12 schools (KU, K-State, Mizzou, Oklahoma...) as well as Pitt State, the K.C. Royals and the Chiefs (all officially licensed) as well as generic Kansas stuff.

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Tammy Copp-Barta 4 years, 4 months ago

Cause we KNOW we don't have enough stores with Lawrence and Kansas stuff in this town ... at least it's not another restaurant in downtown.

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Danielle Brunin 4 years, 4 months ago

I hope they carry those chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Those things are delicious!

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kansasfire911 4 years, 4 months ago

Hmm now that the little guy is out of the way they can move right in. I'm surprised they didn't move into the old Joe College store just so they can shove the knife deeper. I call shenanigans!!

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missmagoo 4 years, 4 months ago

Will they sell K-State and Mizzou... and Chiefs and Royals like other Kansas Sampler locations?

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Yoda51 4 years, 4 months ago

Maybe a little bit of K-State stuff; after all it does have "Kansas" in the name.

But Mizery stuff ???!!! ...well they'd better not on Aug. 21st! The place would have to be sacked!

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Ralph Reed 4 years, 4 months ago

hmmm, other Kansas stuff ... There's a small company that makes spicy pickled garlic. Hope the store carries it -- hate having to drive to Paxico for a fix.

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Deja Coffin 4 years, 4 months ago

Have you checked out Pendleton's farm? I'm not sure if they have spicy pickled garlic but it'd be worth looking into.

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Rich Noever 4 years, 4 months ago

I hope they sell trophy cases. Wait a minute, we can buy some empty ones from K-Sate! They have plenty.

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puddleglum 4 years, 4 months ago

hey man, they almost got to the final four....

hahahahahaha!

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