WICHITA — Crafters used to shop at the Michael's in Westgate Market on West Kellogg before the chain's latest Wichita store opened in NewMarket Square.
Now, that Westgate space is going to attract a different kind of craftsman.
Minneapolis-based Northern Tool & Equipment is taking the more than 18,000-square-foot former Michael's space to sell tools and equipment.
"We make it a very convenient one-stop shop," says Dave Ross, director of retail merchandising.
The company sells products in several core areas: outdoor power equipment, such as mowers and attachments; trailers and related parts; power washers; material handling goods, such as moving devices and storage units; automotive supplies, such as jacks and engine lifts; and "one of the most expansive tool selections in all hand, air and power tools,” Ross says.
Northern Tool manufactures a private label line of brands as well and is making an entrance into work clothing.
There are 67 Northern Tool stores nationally, with large concentrations in the Midwest, Texas, the Carolinas and Florida.
This will be the company's first Kansas store.
Doug Malone of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the lease for New York-based Kimco Realty Corp., which owns the center.
Ross expects the store to be ready sometime in February.
He says a site selection team identified Wichita as a good market for Northern Tool according to demographics and need for the store's products.
Ross says a second Wichita store could follow depending on how the first one does.
"We're obviously interested in the area."