The retail market continued to make steady gains in 2019 despite the continued transition towards e-commerce and advances in technology. As consumer habits continue to evolve, retailers have maintained their commitment to remain ahead of the curve by dedicating significant resources towards repositioning themselves within their respective markets. the retail market will continue to adapt to the demands of the modern consumer.
The rapidly growing trend “shop local, buy local, eat local” took Wichita by storm. The movement bolstered the local economy and several local businesses captured the momentum and expanded their brands. HomeGrown opened a second location in Bradley Fair and later announced plans to open their third location in the Spaghetti Works development downtown. Eric Fisher Salon and The Hairy Sofa announced additional location in downtown as well. Cocoa Dolce opened their corporate headquarters, with a retail presence, downtown in the former Coleman Factory Outlet building. New local concepts included Jenny Dawn Cellars, with their Urban Winery, opened at the revitalized Union Station, and Vora Resurant opened at Uptown Landing near Douglas & Hillside.
Development continued at Wichita State University in 2019. The popular chain Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and Journey East Asia Grill opened at Braeburn Square and construction began on the Hyatt Place Hotel. As corporate development continues at the Innovation Campus, this will attract additional reentrants and retailers to the area.
The local market was impacted by the closing of a few national retailers. Best Buy on west Kellogg, Cowboy Chicken on north Rock Road and J. Crew and Gymboree in Bradley Fair were some notable closures. Wichita was not the only market to lose stores as these brands scaled back their presence across the country.
The forecast for the retail market in 2020 remains optimistic both locally and nationally. Soft goods and big box retailers will continue to downsize in market share as the convenience of e-commerce continues to expand. The expectations are for restaurants, entertainment, medical, and fitness concepts to be among the most active to take their places. Though constantly evolving, the local retail market will look to build off the success of the previous years and continue to make meaningful gain in 2020.
Trader Joes entered the Wichita market with a location at Bradley Fair (21st & Rock)
Chicken N Pickle, which opened in early 2019 at 13th & Greenwich, has been a popular destination for the city.