Some retailers struggle to adapt to changing consumer habits in 2018 and others announced massive expansions in a healthy economy.
From Elder-Beerman, Sears and Toys “R” Us shutting doors in the region to Aldi aggressively expanding, retail made major headlines this year.
Here are 10 of the most read and commented on stories from the area this year:
1. Elder-Beerman closes all locations
Elder-Beerman made big headlines all year, even after the bankrupt Bon-Ton stores closed their doors in late August.
Tech company CSC Generation Holdings purchased the intellectual property of the closed stores and have restarted Bon-Ton's websites. Leadership have said they also plan to reopen some brick-and-mortar stores, but no movement has been made on any in the Dayton area.
Dayton-founded Elder-Beerman closings have left major vacant retail spaces that are hard to fill, including at the Mall at Fairfield Commons and Dayton Mall. Neither mall location has a new tenant, but the Huber Heights store has found a new tenant in At Home, which is expected to open next year.
2. Toys “R” Us website goes black; closes stores
Similar to Elder-Beerman, Toys "R" Us filed for bankruptcy and closed all stores earlier this year. The brick-and-mortar stores closed in June, following a shut down of Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us websites.
Two locations closed in Beavercreek and Miamisburg. Other retailers have filled in the gaps, increasing toy selections as the holidays approached.
3. Sears close locations in Dayton region
Shifting consumer shopping habits, increasing online sales and other factors also forced shut downs of area Sears stores this year.
Both the Mall at Fairfield Commons store and Dayton Mall store have already closed. A store in Piqua will close in February. Sears in Springfield is the only store expected to stay open, and that's only if the company finds a bidder in bankruptcy court.
The Mall at Fairfield Commons has already announced new tenants for the Sears store to come in 2019, Round1 Entertainment and The Room Place furniture store.
Sears Holdings, which also owns Kmart, has been closing stores for years, but didn’t file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy until late in October.
4. Family Video close 2 area stores
Two area Family Video stores closed this year. The stores in New Carlisle and on Wayne Ave. in Dayton shut their doors in July.
At the time, managers didn’t say why the stores were shuttering, but Family Video and other video rental services have struggled with shifting shopping habits as well. New streaming services with free movies and others that can be rented online have made the stores less popular.
5. New doughnut shop, gym coming to Beavercreek
A doughnut shop right next door to a gym caught reader’s attention in 2018. Expected to open next year, a new Duck Donuts and Orangetheory Fitness will be two tenants in a new development in front of the Target store on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek.
Duck Donuts offers “endless combinations,” with a build-your-own style doughnuts. Customers choose the coating, toppings and drizzles that go on a freshly-made vanilla cake doughnut, according to the Duck Donuts website.
Orangetheory Fitness focuses on one-hour heart rate-based interval training, according to the gym’s website.
6. Golden Nugget owners selling restaurant
Popular restaurant the Golden Nugget listed its building and parking lot for sale in June for nearly $2.9 million. The listing is still active with a price of $2.5 million.
The family owning the restaurant said they want to downsize to a smaller space. The restaurant is currently still in operation and the Dayton Daily News continues to reach out for updates on the downsizing.
The Dayton Daily News reported in 2007 that illness forced the owners of the Golden Nugget Pancake House to close a second location at 1510 N. Keowee St.
7. Your local Kroger is doing away with plastic bags
Kroger is doing away with single-use plastic bags, replacing them with reusable bags across all stores.
As part of the company’s recent green initiatives, the major grocery retailer plans to phase out all of the plastic bags by 2025. The QFC brand of stores will be the first to lose the bags, followed by all other lines in the family of stores.
Some experts estimate that 100 billion single-use bags are thrown away every year in the United States. Less than 5 percent are recycled, according to the release.
8. New discount clothing retailer may be coming to Dayton Mall
Ross Dress for Less will make its debut into the Dayton market with stores at the Dayton Mall and Shoppes of Beavercreek.
The Dayton Mall recently confirmed the store would open in the former hhgregg space, but a date hasn't been set. Ross Dress For Less is a discount retailer similar to TJ Maxx and Burlington.
9. Plan to see new products at local ALDI stores: Here’s what we know
Aldi spent 2018 expanding store count, store size and store offerings. One of the discount grocery retailer’s most popular announcements this year was its plan to offer 20 percent new products starting next year.
The company also planned to add 40 percent to its fresh food selection, including more fresh produce, grab-and-go snacks and organic products.
10. Local couple’s photo booth company continues strong growth
When Fairborn resident Jake Prichard started a photo booth company with his brother as a 21-year-old student at Wright State University, he never expected it to take off.
But as photobooths for events like weddings and corporate parties increase in popularity, Prichard and his wife Jayme have seen double and triple digit growth every year since it launched six years ago.
The company forecasts renting photo booths for more than 1,800 events this year, up from 1,500 last year. With 10 full-time and 50 part-time employees during the busy season, along with 115 photo booths, the company could operate up to 65 events in one day.
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