GREENVILLE — A group of local leaders is hoping to keep the KitchenAid Experience shop operating, but time is closing fast on options.
The KitchenAid Experience shop will permanently close its doors this coming Friday, Sept. 18.
An ad hoc committee composed of Darke County Economic Development Director Mike Bowers, Darke County Commissioner candidate Larry Holmes, Main Street Greenville Director Ryan Berry, and Greenville Mayor Steve Willman, had worked to convince Whirlpool, the parent company of KitchenAid, to continue operations of the KitchenAid products store at its present location in downtown Greenville.
The committee suggested options to the corporation, but KitchenAid has held its ground in their plans to close the store, in the midst of the company’s restructuring, stating it is a manufacturing company not a retail company.
However, KitchenAid did grant the committee a few months to present ideas to them, but that time was also used to investigate what possibilities might exist for a new store that could sell KitchenAid products.
“Even with that we are not clear that a new store with a different make up of KitchenAid products and accessories could continue to be an anchor store or a destination for our downtown and create as much foot traffic as the KitchenAid Experience store we have now,” said Mayor Steve Willman.
“It has been very difficult to understand how the store has operated thus far for lack of much of their financial costs of operating the business, their sales and whether the margins could sustain operating a private store,” he added.
With only days left, the committee feels it has gone as far as possible and will now rely on individuals and/or investors that maybe interested in operating a store which sells Kitchen Aid products.
The building is owned by Park National Bank, and with KitchenAid getting out of the lease, a private individual or company would need to negotiate lease terms with Park National directly, explained Willman. Further, a potential investor would not be able to legally use the KitchenAid Experience brand, although would obviously be allowed to sell KitchenAid products.
Committee members are asking interested parties to contact them, so they may share information they’ve gathered.