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No. 6: Costco, Cane's, Lululemon choose Springfield

2020 Business Year in Review

Posted online

Springfield hit the radar of a few national brands this year, the biggest being Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST).

The rumor mill was churning about Costco well before Mayor Ken McClure announced May 28 the membership warehouse retail store planned to build in east Springfield – on Chestnut Expressway, fronting U.S. Highway 65. He was in on it because Costco officials were seeking development incentives in the form of $4.8 million reimbursed for public improvements at the site. Springfield City Council approved the infrastructure deal the next month, awarding Costco half of the 1% sales taxes generated by the store in its first 15 years.

Officials say the store is slated to open by August 2021 and create at least 125 jobs with an average hourly wage of $25.50.

“Costco is a bellwether sign that Springfield has arrived to a certain point,” Councilperson Richard Ollis said when the plans were approved. “I look forward to not only the arrival of Costco, which I think is a big deal for our community, but it also sets us up for future expansion and future businesses to locate, as well.”

One highly sought after restaurant was added to the more than 600 doing business in the city.

Springfield consumers in early November welcomed the entrance of Raising Cane’s and its Louisiana-style chicken fingers. The chain chose a site adjacent to Bass Pro Shops and the Wonders of Wildlife aquarium to build its 530th store and 19th in Missouri.

A Springfield Business Journal article that broke the news of Raising Cane’s plans was the most read story of the year on SBJ.net.

For athletic wear brand Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU), officials are testing the market with a pop-up store concept in Brentwood Center North, across from Battlefield Mall. Landlord Curtis Jared leased 3,000 square feet in March and the store opened in June, according to its Facebook page. After an undisclosed test period, Jared said Lululemon would determine if the market supports a conversion to a full store.

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