Wally Kennedy: New Shoe Store Opens in Downtown Joplin Despite Supply Chain Issues | Local News


It is difficult to open a retail business right now due to supply chain issues.

Let’s say you open a shoe store. Well, you can’t open a shoe store if your shoes are in a container on a ship anchored outside the Port of Los Angeles. Even if it is unloaded, there is no guarantee that a truck or train will be able to deliver it across the country in a timely manner.

This is what Erik Bartlett, owner of the new Bartlett’s shoe store at 303 S. Main St., is currently experiencing. He opened his downtown shoe store on Monday. This store, with its clean and open vibe, is so cool. It elevates the shoe shopping experience to a new level. What Bartlett wants to do is identify the niche that his store will fill to meet the needs of Joplin footwear consumers. It’s more difficult to do when your shoe choices are limited.

“The offer is difficult at the moment. We have 30-40% of our inventory, ”Bartlett said. “As a new store, we are in a test phase to find out where we will be in the local market. This test phase will be more difficult due to supply chain issues.

Deliveries are systematically postponed from 60 to 90 days. Sometimes it’s six to 10 months. Sometimes they don’t come at all.

The shoe store has a seasonal corner for clothes and accessories that would complement a new pair of shoes. This seasonal nook is currently showing an exhibition of quilted jackets from The North Face. The jackets have arrived, but not the North Face boots that come with them.

“You get what you get and you are happy to get it,” he said.

Bartlett knows how important the testing phase can be to the success of a shoe store. Eleven years ago, he opened his first downtown shoe store, Runaround Running and Fitness, 422 S. Main St., identifying and meeting a specific need in the market. The new store will offer all kinds of footwear for men, women and children, from work boots and dress shoes to comfortable shoes and sandals.

It helps that Bartlett took a minimalist approach to the design of this store. The shoes, including brands like Birkenstock, Ecco, Keen and Lems, are displayed on plinths like works of art. You won’t see shoe racks in boxes. The store’s open atmosphere is by design and will not change as the store inventory grows.

This building, largely redesigned, previously housed an architectural firm, a Social Security office and a gas company.

Bartlett said he bought the property because of its available parking. You can park on Main Street and walk through the front door in seconds. It is so convenient.

The stores are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Bartlett said a grand opening will take place next year when problems with the supply chain are expected to ease.

But market analysts say the supply chain problem, which is pushing up prices for consumers and slowing the global economic recovery from the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic, is likely will get worse before it gets better. Keep in mind that consumer spending accounts for over two-thirds of US economic activity, and that activity will peak in the next five weeks.

So if you find a pair of shoes or anything else that looks good on you, I suggest you buy them while you can get them.

So impressive

For a very long time, the exterior of the main street of one of the oldest commercial buildings in downtown Joplin was covered so that workers could give the structure a facelift. The revelation made the wait worth it. It is an excellent example of historical restoration.

This property, located at 216 S. Main Street, will be the new home of Clevenger Financial and Béljoy, a jewelry company. Lane Clevenger, a financial adviser, and his wife, Abby, who operates Beljoy, will move into the property by the end of the year, if all goes according to plan. The storefront has space for another business.

The history of this building goes back a long way. A historical marker that was placed near the storefront entrance years ago marked it as the “oldest commercial building in West Joplin”. It could date from 1877.

The renovation includes new period windows on the second floor that accentuate the masonry on the main street side of the building. It’s simple, but impressive.

This showcase is located north of the Frosted Cakerie and Bearded Lady roasters.

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