The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

June 12, 2012

Speculation abounds for three large national retail chain stores coming to Enid

Rickey Hayes raised eyebrows by saying three large national retail chains plan to open stores at Oakwood and Garriott.

That’s the land currently occupied by the former Homeland grocery store. Hayes, who made the announcement Monday during an Enid Rotary Club meeting, said the stores signed letters of intent, but could not release the names due to confidentiality agreements.

“These three are all three retailers that aren’t in the market now,” Hayes said in an interview Monday after the Rotary meeting.

Most residents expressed excitement about the potential new stores through Facebook posts on the Internet. Requests came for Target, Academy Sports + Outdoors, T.J.Maxx, Kohl’s and even Costco.

Hayes said he expects construction to begin before the end of 2012, and for the new stores to open in the third quarter of 2013. This comes after Tulsa-based Vector Companies announced a plan to “de-mall” Oakwood Mall by redeveloping it into an outdoor regional shopping center.

Regarding the Homeland site, a handful of naysaying readers at enidnews.com doubted that the announced businesses would ever open in Enid.

“It’s like a broken record in this town,” Mitch Simmons wrote. “Their ability to attract what you say are the execs of larger corporations have failed time and time again ...”

Shelli Kitchens questioned why the Enid News & Eagle did the story in the first place, saying she was slightly annoyed that none of the retailers were revealed.

“Due to confidentiality agreements?” Kitchens wrote. “In case they back out? I don’t think it would have hurt anyone’s feelings if the article had been delayed in printing until revealing the new retailers by name was possible.”

For the record, we decided to go with what we knew with plans to update the story when possible the old-fashioned way: in the newspaper.

What’s the final word? It’s hard to know for sure, but check out the following comments at the Enid News & Eagle Facebook page from two city commissioners:

“I can confirm that Target is not going to be one of the new retailers,” wrote Mike Stuber of Ward 2. “Sorry to disappoint.”

And now for the last word from Tammy Wilson.

“However, Rickey Hayes announced (Monday) that Target is in discussions with Enid,” wrote Wilson, who serves Ward 5. “If it comes here, it won’t go in that particular location, but don’t write it off just yet.”

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