Carrie Rengers

New store to replace former Walmart Neighborhood Market

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is moving within Plaza West to the former Walmart Neighborhood Market space. The interior will be particularly colorful.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore is moving within Plaza West to the former Walmart Neighborhood Market space. The interior will be particularly colorful. Courtesy photo

Six years after the Habitat for Humanity ReStore store moved to Plaza West at the southwest corner of Central and West, it's moving again — except not out of the shopping center.

The nonprofit is moving into the former Walmart Neighborhood Market.

"We needed more space," says manager David Flask.

Habitat has been soliciting material good donations from companies that might be cleaning their warehouses or have incorrect orders and an excess of materials.

"In the last six to eight months, we've actually gone after that pretty hard," Flask says. "We were having people offer us things that we didn't have room for."

Even with overflow storage, it wasn't enough, he says.

"If you go out and solicit donations, you don't want to turn them down and say, 'Never mind.' "

The current store space is 19,800 square feet. The new space is 31,000 square feet.

Flask says there will be a bigger sales floor and processing area.

The extra room will allow for new departments, such as a vintage corner.

"I also want to develop our architectural salvage area ... because we have lots of requests for that," Flask says.

There will be a more complete lawn and garden area with hoses, rakes, gardening tools and patio furniture.

There also will be an area strictly for office furniture in addition to a regular home furnishings area.

The store purchases some new items, such as flooring and paint, that it offers at reduced prices. Everything else is donated. There are a lot of building materials, such as doors, windows, plumbing and hardware.

"One of our goals is to keep things out of the landfill," Flask says.

He says his store keeps 1 million pounds out of the landfill a year.

The "Re" in ReStore stands for reduce, reuse, recycle.

"That's part of our mission," Flask says.

He says the store's chief mission is "to make money that goes back to Habitat for Humanity here in town."

There are 970 ReStore stores nationwide and in Canada, and each is a little different depending on what kind of items are donated.

The new store is especially colorful with blocks of bright blue, orange, gray and chartreuse.

"It is fun," Flask says. "My goal is I don't want it to look like a Walmart that we've moved into."

He says he likes that the store will be in one giant space instead of its previous "three or four storefronts that had been thrown together over the years."

Moving will start May 20. The store will be closed May 21 and 22 and reopen in the new space on May 23. The grand opening is June 2 with a ribbon cutting, games and refreshments.

"More than anything else, I want to get people in to see the new space," Flask says.

He says he thinks the former Walmart space will be plenty of room for the future.

"I'm not moving again. Yes, it'll be just fine."

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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