We have some good news and some bad news.
First, the bad news: Dillard's is planning on closing its Enid location as an anchor at Oakwood Mall. The store is supposed to operate as a clearance location until its closure around the end of the year.
The good news? A resourceful Enid resident started a petition asking Dillard’s corporate officials to reconsider their “strategic decision” to close.
We agree with Jon Blankenship, president and chief executive officer of Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, that Dillard's is a major retail attraction for Enid. It’s a significant drawing card for the retail trade area throughout Northwest Oklahoma, and the location is one of the best pieces of commercial real estate in the state.
Owners of Oakwood Mall have said they were surprised by Dillard’s announcement. In negotiations, Sb Retail Group Carlsbad LLC offered better rent rates, facility upgrades and more, founding partner Todd Routh said, but nothing they put on the table seemed to work.
Discouraged about Dillard’s leaving, Ruby Wilson currently is circulating the petition at Golden Oaks and encouraging people to take the petitions citywide in a unified effort. We appreciate her taking the initiative, and we agree with her message.
“I was hoping it would catch fire, you know, that the whole city would eventually back it, but I can’t do it all myself,” Wilson said. “I have to have help from city leaders and for everybody to embrace it to get the signatures, which is what I was hoping would happen.”
Already, hundreds of people have signed the petition, and she set a Sept. 1 deadline to take the petitions to Dillard’s or send them in to company executives.
We join the Enid Chamber in encouraging members and other Northwest Oklahoma residents to stop by the Chamber at 210 Kenwood Boulevard or the News & Eagle at 227 W. Broadway and sign the petition.