This summer, Libertyville saw the closing of stores such as Whatsit & Doohickey Co. and Adrienne Clarisse Intimate Boutique, but village officials say more businesses opened or expanded than closed in 2011.
Since the start of 2011, the village of Libertyville has issued approvals for 53 business openings, expansions, or relocations, while 28 businesses have closed, according to an Illinois Department of Revenue report.
“Where we’ve had some losses, we’ve actually had more gains,” said Heather Rowe, Libertyville's economic development coordinator. “That says a lot about the strength of the community.”
Many of the new or expanded entities were retail or personal service businesses, according to Rowe. She also says that many of the people opening new ventures have owned their own businesses before.
“They are a little less risk averse. They have a little bit more background in business and have the financial wherewithal to open their own businesses,” she said.
Many businesses that closed were construction supply companies that have seen a slowdown in their industry, as well as some retailers who have seen their markets disappear.
On the list of businesses that closed were such companies as John Deere Landscapes, Dinner by Design, Blockbuster, and Park Avenue Hair Design and Spa, among others.
Filling Up Large Industrial Spaces
Despite these losses, Rowe says that many Libertyville businesses have expanded, including industrial companies like Brightstar, a wireless device company, which has nearly doubled its space by more than 100,000 square-feet, and Fabrication Technologies, a company that manufactures, engineers and assembles fabricated sheet metal products.
“We’ve filled up a lot of large industrial spaces, so we’re hoping there will now be some demand for the open land we have available for industrial companies,” she said.
Some new businesses were not reflected in the village's list of new businesses because they are under construction and have not reached occupancy yet, according to Rowe. For example, a former furniture store in the Red Top shopping center is being converted into a sporting goods shop, and an O’Reilly’s Auto Parts is under construction near Liberty Auto Plaza on South Milwaukee Avenue.
Downtown Store Expansions
In downtown Libertyville, many stores are seeing growth and expansion, including Amazing Cosmetics, which has moved to a larger, newly renovated building on Cook Avenue, The Picnic Basket is expanding into the adjacent vacated property, and Oh, Olive! will open its second location in Glenview in November.
“Our customer service is a key feature. We take time with our customers and teach them all about our products,” said Sandy Schuenemann, co-owner of Oh, Olive! “We have competitive prices and an exceptional, fresh product.”
Other new entities include health and wellness companies like Crossfit Freedom and a new Weight Watchers location, food service businesses such as Wisma and City Subs and Smoothies, and retailers like Toy Station and Rolland’s Jewelers, which relocated from Hawthorne Mall to Libertyville.
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Correction: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that Agony of De-Feet closed, the business relocated to Mundelein.