Katherine Ducharme and 24 Hour News 8 web staff -
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- The recent spate of retail giants closing stores in West Michigan is creating a chance for new local retailers, according to an analysis by Colliers International.
Family Christian stores will shut down Saturday, the company's website states. Earlier this week, Grand Rapids' own MC Sports closed all of its stores. Before that, Sears shut down some of its locations. Gordmans is also closing stores.
While it may not seem like a hit to the local economy, Colliers International says the shutdowns may not all be bad. The empty storefront each company leaves behind creates opportunities for new retailers to come to West Michigan.
"A lot of the locations that are going to go dark here are going to be replaced with newer, fresher retailers," said Mike Murray, senior vice president of Colliers International.
Some well-known companies are among those looking at the West Michigan market.
"National retailers, when they come to Grand Rapids and they've never been before, they recognize how special of an area we have and they want to be here. And they're coming," said Murray.
Soon, the shuttered Sears at Woodland Mall will be replaced by a number of national brands.
Downtown Grand Rapids and surrounding neighborhoods are also growing with the help of new local retailers and restaurants that are settling in, including Silver Star Café, One Bourbon, Mazzo and 7 Monks Taproom.
National retailers are also eyeing the Plainfield Avenue storefront MC Sports left behind. Even though this popular sports store is gone, other national sports chains are considering breaking into the market.
A national retailer could also take over the J.C. Penney's in Holland.
The names of all the retailers coming or interested in West Michigan can't be released yet, since deals and details are not finalized. However, Colliers International tells 24 Hour News 8 there's a lot to look forward to.
"We should all be excited about retail that's coming and the more choices were going to have," said Murray.
Announcements on which retailers will replace the Sears at the Woodland Mall, MC Sports and other shuttered stores are expected to be made late this summer.