Friday, March 22, 2019

Dutch Bros plans new store near Hillcrest High School

Students at Hillcrest High School next year
 will have no excuse for sleeping in class.
The city of Ammon building department received site plans this week for a Dutch Bros Coffee shop at the corner of Eagle Drive and Sunnyside Road. In addition to Kohl's and Modern Home, this places Dutch Bros' third Idaho Falls/Ammon location in close proximity to Hillcrest High School.

Charlie Allen, Ammon's building official, said the site plans have to be reviewed and the City Council must take action before any ground can be broken. Going by the usual pace of things, he said that ought to be in May or June.

Dutch Bros (pronounced as "bros," not "brothers"), of course, is the wildly popular coffee purveyor that opened two Idaho Falls shops last year, on Woodruff Avenue and 17th Street. Based in Grants Pass, Ore., it is the country's largest privately held drive-thru coffee company, with outlets in seven states, with more than 9,000 employees.

The company announced in October 2018 it had received a minority investment from TSG Consumer Partners, a company whose food and beverage investments also include VitaminWater, PopChips, Smart Balance and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The size of the investment wasn't disclosed, but Dutch Bros said it planned to nearly triple its outlets, from 300 to 800, over the next five years.

Radio Shack returns to Idaho Falls

Reese Clawson
Radio Shack is back in Idaho Falls, in the Albertson’s shopping center on the city’s west side, west of Ace Hardware. This is great news for us geeks who like a local place to find capacitors, resistors, potentiometers, fuses, jewel lights, etc.

The store is managed by Reese Clawson, who has a history with Radio Shack dating all the way back to 1982, when it was in the Yellowstone Mall. The new Idaho Falls store is one of two franchises owned by Vern Murray. The other is in Pocatello.

The Fort Worth-based company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015. Once the domain of do-it-yourselfers, Radio Shack's corporate directors decided in the early 2000s to make a strategic shift toward selling cell phones and accessories. By 2014, mobile phones accounted for nearly half of the company's total sales, but this had its downside. When consumers gravitated toward buying cellphones directly from wireless operators, carriers began covering their rising costs by reducing payments to Radio Shack and other resellers. This was aggravated as well by an overabundance of stores, and the company's profit margins and sales slid disastrously. The chain emerged from the 2015 bankruptcy only to declare it again in 2017. It came out of the second bankruptcy in early 2018.

Clawson, the son of a ham radio operator, is happy to see the chain getting back to basics. There are plenty of items to make hobbyists happy, and gone are the cell phones and the DISH Network offers. “They’re not doing all the stuff that put them out of business,” he said.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Shopko to close remaining stores nationwide

Shopko will liquidate its assets and close all of its remaining locations, including its store in Idaho Falls, by mid-June.

The company was unable to find a buyer for the retail business and will begin winding down its operations beginning this week, the company said in statement released Monday. The decision to liquidate will bring an end to the brick-and-mortar business that began with one location in Green Bay, Wisc., in 1962.
 
"This is not the outcome that we had hoped for when we started our restructuring efforts," Shopko CEO Russ Steinhorst said in the statement. The company in February announced plans to close 250 stores, or about 70 percent of its locations, as it attempted to scale back the business and work through bankruptcy to  restore profitability and attract a buyer or investor.

That list was expanded at noon Monday with the inclusion of the 120 stores that Shopko had hoped to keep open, according to a document filed Monday in U.S. bankruptcy court in Nebraska. Prior to bankruptcy, Shopko employed more than 15,000 people nationwide, according to court documents.

Employees at Shopko headquarters, in Ashwaubenon, found out about the liquidation during an emergency meeting on Monday. Individual stores had team meetings to pass along the same information.

The bankruptcy court had scheduled an auction for Tuesday morning in the hope of driving up the price of initial bids that were submitted last week. On Monday, it announced the auction was canceled and a bankruptcy consultant would oversee  liquidation over the next 10 to 12 weeks.

The court filing indicates all store closures will be completed by June 16. The company said it continues to evaluate options for its optical business. Shopko had originally hoped to spin off the business into standalone locations as part of its reorganization. The optical business now becomes one of the assets it will look to sell in the liquidation process. The liquidation at the newly-identified closing stores will look much the same as what has occurred at Shopko stores that have already closed: Discounts will slowly increase over a period of weeks as the company looks to sell every bit of inventory and equipment on hand.

Shopko and its affiliates filed for bankruptcy protection on Jan. 16 citing assets of less than $1 billion and liabilities between $1 billion and $10 billion. It had sought a buyer that would keep a smaller number of the company's brick and mortar locations operating beyond bankruptcy.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Salon h.Davis moves to new, larger location

Salon h.Davis owner Niki Young
Salon h. Davis has opened at a new, larger location, at 3544 E. 17th St. Suite 103. Owner Niki Young said she has been looking for a few years for a place to expand from the 25th Street location, where she started the business in August 2009. Her choices were limited, however. “I didn’t want office space,” she said.

Last September, however, Young’s client Mary Shell of S2M Development told her about the 17th Street space. Shell and her husband, Mark, own the building. While 2,700 square feet was more than what Young was envisioning — “I would have liked something three times bigger instead of four times,” she said — the location was good and she had an idea for how she wanted the space to look.

It is a look she describes as “industrial glam.” The vents in the ceiling are exposed, there is an ornate chandelier in the lobby and waiting area. As far as appointments are concerned, the salon now has 10 stations, more than double the four stations on 25th Street. There are three pedicure stations, two treatment rooms and a break room for the staff.

Young, who named the salon after her grandmother, is planning a grand opening for April 6.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Car wash planned for southwest corner of Yellowstone and Sunnyside

L. Jones emailed last Friday to ask what is happening on the southwest corner of Yellowstone Highway and Sunnyside Road, where she saw activity. Our examination of building permits with the city of Idaho Falls Building Department today reveals there is to be a Pony Express Car Wash built there.

The new construction permit application from Wednesday is from Josh Howa, a Boise architect, and the owner is Seven Synergy Holdings LLC of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The city collected $155,800 in fees, including $120,960 for water services (we can’t have a car wash without water, can we?) and $34,720 for the sewer connection.

This is the second Pony Express Car Wash in the area. One opened in Chubbuck in January, and was featured on Local News 8 with a story about its unique water reclamation system, which incorporates trenches and settling tanks. Check it out using this hyperlink: https://www.localnews8.com/news/pony-express-carwash-will-use-new-methods-for-water-conversation/954652818.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Fall River Cooperative offering scholarships

ASHTON -- Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative is once again offering scholarships to local area high school graduating seniors whose parents or guardians are members of Fall River Electric. A member is anyone who receives electric service from Fall River, whether at a permanent residence, a vacation property or commercial business. Over the history of this program, Fall River Electric has
awarded over a half a million dollars in scholarships to deserving graduating seniors.

Fall River Electric scholarships are valued at $2,400 and are paid in increments of $600 annually. In order to apply, graduating seniors must have at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) and provide a short written essay stating their educational goals and why they are deserving of a scholarship.

Applications are now being accepted from seniors enrolled in the following school districts:

  • Teton #401
  • Fremont County #215
  • Sugar-Salem #322
  • Madison #321
  • Jefferson #251
  • Ririe #252
  • West Yellowstone #69

Interested seniors or their parents or guardians may obtain a scholarship application by visiting the Fall River Electric website at www.fallriverelectric.com, then click “MYCOMMUNITY” and open the “Scholarships” tab on the dropdown menu to download an application.

Applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 29, or can be dropped off at any of Fall River’s offices in Ashton, Driggs or West Yellowstone. For further information or to answer questions, call Joni Amen at 208-652-7002 or email her at joni.amen@fallriverelectric.com.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Edward Jones adviser Mike Silver opening office at Snake River Landing

Mike Silver
Edward Jones financial adviser Mike Silver announced this week he plans to open a new office this summer at 901 Pier View Drive, in Idaho Falls' Snake River Landing development. "The new office should allow me to continue helping my clients reach their most important financial goals,” he said.

Begun in 2006, Snake River Landing is a mixed-use planned community now home to more than 30 businesses. “We enjoy providing a professionally setting and working with businesses to fit their needs,” said Eric Isom, chief development officer. “Edward Jones has been great to work with and we are excited for Mike Silver to join the Snake River Landing community.”

Located next to Love At First Bite, Silver's office will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. More information can be found at www.edwardjones.com/mike-silver