The first new tenant for a strip center being built in front of the Academy Sports near K-96 and Greenwich is a familiar one: Mattress Firm.
It will be joining two other Mattress Firms that will open before the end of the year, including one in Derby and one that’s opening in the former Pizza Hut space at Kellogg and Greenwich.
They’re all joining 10 other Mattress Firms that are already in the Wichita area. One also opened in Hutchinson this summer.
“We’re going to continue to aggressively look at real estate,” says Matt Lokay, district manager for the Houston-based company.
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“We find that the more stores we put in, the better footprint we have in the community,” he says.
“I would say we’re like a Walgreens or a Starbucks,” Lokay says. “Convenience is just so key.”
He says people don’t like to shop for mattresses, so it’s important to make it easy for them.
“It’s ranked right above buying tires,” Lokay says.
He says almost half our lives are spent in bed, so mattresses are important purchases.
“It’s one of those things we have to do, right?”
Last year, the Wichita Mattress Firms converted from franchise stores to corporate-owned ones.
“One big benefit of us being under the corporate model now, we’re really encouraged to give back to the community,” Lokay says.
For instance, each store is a drop point for the Kansas Food Bank.
“We are looking for other groups that we can help,” Lokay says. “I would really encourage them to reach out to us.”
The community support will come amid opening another nine or 10 stores in the next 12 to 24 months.
“We’re going to kind of work our way out of the city, if that makes sense,” Lokay says of growing to outlying areas.
The Derby store will open around Nov. 29. The Kellogg and Greenwich store will open Nov. 6.
And the Mattress Firm by Academy Sports will open Nov. 27.
Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons represented the landlord in the deal for that space.
She says Mattress Firm will take 4,000 square feet on the west end of the 13,500-square-foot center, which will be perpendicular to Greenwich. That means the store will have Greenwich frontage.
Another 10,000-square-foot building will be on the north side of Academy Sports, and a 28,000-square-foot building will be on its south side.
Royse, who is working on deals for those spaces as well, says the buildings could be divided, but single junior box tenants are preferred.