Retail | St. Louis Public Radio


Dressbarn is one of the latest traditional retailers to close up shop at the Quincy Mall, as seen in this photo from Dec. 2019. Property owners are looking to tenants such as clinics and spas to fill the vacant spaces.
Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

In August 2018, the Quincy Mall was in crisis. A few years earlier, JCPenney, one of the mall’s three large department store anchors, had closed. That month, the two remaining stores, Sears and Bergner’s, closed within weeks of each other.

“It left us with just this huge big-box vacancy,” said Mike Jenkins, the property manager at the 500,000-square-foot mall in Quincy, Illinois. 

The loss of such major tenants has been a death sentence for many malls. But the shopping center had a stroke of luck. The same time the department stores closed, one of the small city’s two large medical providers was looking for a space to house a planned outpatient surgery clinic.

School Illustration
File | Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians shopping for back-to-school supplies can take advantage of the state’s tax-free weekend this Friday through Sunday.

The tax holiday applies to clothing, school supplies and computers for the 4.22-percent state sales tax, as well as the local sales tax in participating jurisdictions.

But the Better Business Bureau recommends that consumers do some reading, writing and arithmetic before they start to shop in stores or online. Chris Thetford, vice president of communications at the BBB in St. Louis, said not everything sold in back-to-school sales may qualify.

Bulldozers and dump trucks are what's in store for the vacant mall most recently known as Crestwood Court as redevelopment plans are in the works. Thousands of residents came to say good-bye at a food truck festival held Saturday.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Santa Claus. That’s the first thing Carol Feldman thinks of when she recalls her childhood memories of the mall known then as Crestwood Plaza off Watson Road.


A shuttered St. Louis County mall has a new owner. 

The defunct Crestwood Court sold for $3.65 million on on Thursday afternoon. It came to that final price after a starting bid of $1 million.

(St. Louis Public Radio/Screen Capture)

Some retailers in Illinois are lobbying for E-fairness nationally; a move to require online vendors to charge sales tax just like brick-and-mortar businesses.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association helped push legislation through in Springfield this year to force remote online retailers with affiliates in the state to charge sales tax.

President and CEO David Vite says 18 e-commerce businesses have registered with the Illinois Department of Revenue since then bringing in $1.5 million.

Vite says the effort in Illinois helped spur a push for a federal law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 24, 2010 - Holiday shopping NOW. No waiting.

That's been the message for weeks, as the nation's retailers extended their holiday growing season. Since October, when Christmas trees sprouted next to jack-o'-lanterns in store aisles, pre-holiday sales have jumped the gun on the day after Thanksgiving -- Black Friday -- the traditional start of the shopping season.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 18, 2008 - Oh, the shopping season looks frightful -- whether you're a consumer, fretting about what to buy and how much to spend, or a retailer, worrying about sales, or an employee, wondering how much longer work will continue.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - It has been the quintessential mail order company for generations of consumers. Known for its quirky knick-knacks and handy-dandy household items, Miles Kimball made its name -- and its fortune -- by offering everything from mouthwash decanters to pineapple slicers to a public hungry for gizmos and gadgets.