This is an installment of an occasional series in the Anchorage Daily News taking a quick look at the comings and goings of businesses in Southcentral Alaska. If you know of a business opening or closing in the area, send a note to reporter Annie Zak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trax Outdoor Center: This outdoor gear shop that sells nordic ski equipment, paddleboards, Lululemon clothes and more opened a few weeks ago in a strip mall at 6700 Jewel Lake Road. Its grand opening is Saturday, March 24.
Trax has had a location in Fairbanks since 2012. The stores are also MasterCraft boat dealers. Owner Mike Hajdukovich said he jumped at the opportunity to launch a second shop in Anchorage.
"My brother lives down there in the Kincaid area and he saw that spot come up for rent in that mall and we were like, 'Oh my god, if there was ever a time, it's right now,' because that location is perfect for what we do in the wintertime," said Hajdukovich. "We've been trying to get into Anchorage, talking about it for five years."
The Fairbanks location also has a yoga studio, but the Anchorage location doesn't.
Blockbuster: The Blockbuster location in North Pole at 320 N. Santa Claus Lane will close April 15, said Kevin Daymude, general manager for Alaska Blockbuster stores. He cited changes in the economy as the reason why.
Rental business there has already ended and the store is now selling off its inventory, a post on the store's Facebook page earlier this month said.
"The sale will go on throughout the month of March and April on all rental items and fixtures," the post said.
(Open & Shut typically focuses on businesses in Southcentral Alaska, but we decided to add this closure because several other Blockbusters in Alaska have also closed in recent years.)
Vine and Branches Christian Bookshoppe: This bookstore at 1120 Huffman Road is closing soon because the owner, Tony Hooyer, is retiring. The store has been at that location for 24 years, he said.
"Tried to sell it, didn't sell," he said. The shop, which Hooyer said focuses on products "for the whole Christian community," sells Bibles, books, gifts, art and more, and there's a sale going on now to move the inventory. The target date for closing is April 28, Hooyer said, though that could change.
All I Saw Cookware and Mimi's Closet: These two businesses located in Wasilla at 701 S. Knik Goose Bay Road plan to close in April, according to their Facebook pages.
"After 30 plus years of service to the Wasilla community, we are closing our doors in April along with Mimi's Closet," said a February post on All I Saw Cookware's page.
Calls to the stores weren't returned Wednesday. Both shops are having sales as they prepare to close.
Anchorage Eye Associates: This practice at 4007 Old Seward Highway will have its last day April 30 because the physician there, Dr. T.B. McLaughlin, is retiring.
"Dr. McLaughlin has valued his relationship with his patients and wishes to thank them for their many years of loyalty and friendship," the practice said in an emailed statement.
McLaughlin has been in practice in Anchorage for more than 35 years.
Toys R Us: This chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, last week filed a motion seeking court approval to start the process of winding down its U.S. business and liquidating inventory "in all 735 of the Company's U.S. stores, including stores in Puerto Rico," according to a written statement.
A spokeswoman didn't offer specifics for the Anchorage location of Toys R Us and Babies R Us.
"(A)ll stores in the US are affected, but I don't have information (team member numbers) on this specific location," said spokeswoman Nicole Hayes in an email last week. "Our wind down/store closing/sales timeline is still TBD."