WATERLOO, Iowa --- The consignment store concept is taking a step up in the Cedar Valley, with Stuff Etc getting set to open for business in November.
Lockard Realty Inc. of Cedar Falls announced Monday that Stuff Etc had signed a five-year lease --- with numerous options for extensions, according to Lockard officials --- for the old Office Depot store at 1210 Flammang Drive in Waterloo. The building also previously housed an Office Max store from 1996 to 2006.
The 24,000-square-foot building gives Stuff Etc plenty of room for its "department-store" business model, said franchisee John Classen, a native of Grundy Center.
"It's going to be larger than anything that's up there," Classen said Friday in Cedar Rapids, where there are two Stuff Etc stores.
The building had been vacant since Office Depot closed in June 2009 after operating there three years.
"That's pretty typical for a store that size," John Flint, vice president at Lockard, said of the duration of the building's dormancy. The store will begin taking consignment merchandise Oct. 1 and likely will open around Nov. 1, Classen said.
Classen said the building was an ideal fit.
"We thought the market would be a good location," Classen said. "It's similar to Cedar Rapids, demographically, and the two stores there have been successful. We thought people in Waterloo and Cedar Falls would embrace the old re-use-resell concept, as they have in Cedar Rapids."
The store will carry "all lines" of clothing, household goods, electronics and furniture, among other items, Classen said.
"We strive for quality consignment to where maybe we're a little more selective to make sure they're a little above average-quality," he said.
The store will employ about 25 workers, including about 15 full-timers, said Classen, who will be general manager.
Two assistant managers, Amanda Leonard and Tammy Anderson, already have been hired.
Applications are available online at the store's website, stuffetc-online.com and also will be available through the University of Northern Iowa and Kaplan University websites, as well as Iowa Workforce Development, Classen said.
The new store is a good sign for the Cedar Valley's economic vitality, Flint said.
"For one thing, it shows, like a lot of other economic indicators, we are alive and well despite the recession," Flint said. "There's a lot of activity in Crossroads area, with Dick's (Sporting Goods), and there's interest generating around it."
Based in Iowa City, Stuff Etc has locations in Iowa City, Coralville, and two in Cedar Rapids. Waterloo will mark the company's fifth location in Iowa.