As this year comes to end I decided to look back at all the retail happenings in the Roanoke and New River valleys.
We saw the sale of two troubled shopping centers (First and Main and Keagy Village), buildings come down and new ones go up, the opening of the first grocery store downtown in years, and continuing trends such as the frozen yogurt craze, as well as some new trends such as cash mobs.
As I set out to write a Retail Roundup column on the year’s top retail stories, please help me by letting me know which stories top your list, and why. I’ve listed some stories to get you started, but the list isn’t inclusive (or in any particular order). If there is something you feel is missing (or perhaps something you don’t think should be included) please let me know in a comment.
- Keagy Village, first when a bank bought it at auction, and more recently when it was sold to a North Carolina developer.
- The closure of two Food Lion stores.
- The remodel of the Roanoke and Christiansburg Target stores.
- The developments in Wasena, from the River House and its restaurant and climbing gym, to plans for East Coasters to move into the old transportation museum.
- Cook Out’s expansion into Roanoke and Rocky Mount.
- The opening of S & W Market , a grocery store at 16 West Marketplace in downtown Roanoke.
- The closure and reopening of the Roanoke Weiner Stand for the ongoing renovations at Center in the Square.
- The arrival of the cash mobs in Christiansburg and Roanoke.
- JC Penney’s ongoing changes causing consumer complaints.
- Construction of Steak ‘n Shake begins after more than a year of delays.
- Flat Rock Grille and Texas Steakhouse are demolished to make room for a hotel.
- The continuing expansion of frozen yogurt shops in the area.
- Salem Chick-fil-A opening.
- First and Main Shopping Center in Blacksburg gets a new owner.
- Ulta Beauty opening at Valley View Mall.
- Five Guys Burgers and Fries opening in Roanoke and Christiansburg.
- Plow and Hearth’s opening at Valley View Mall.
- Ginger’s Jewelry reopening.
- Roanoke Natural Food Co-op announces plans to open a second store.
- Growth at Towers Shopping Center (Mirko Pasta, Tuesday Morning, Smoothie King.)
- Closure of restaurants, many because they were struggling with high food prices in a poor economy (Arzu, Norbertos, Big Lick BBQ, Little Chef, Isaac’s, Horizon Bar and Grill, Tudor’s, Blue Collar Joe’s)
- Support of and protests against Chick-fil-A’s endorsement of traditional marriage