SOURCE: Lakeshore Learning Materials


August 27, 2010 11:02 ET

Community Rallies Around Lakeshore to Keep Doors Open

CARSON, CA--(Marketwire - August 27, 2010) -  It only took one sign that read "Building up for Lease" to make the historic Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood rally together to keep their beloved community Lakeshore store open.

"Lakeshore has been a fabric of the community since 1999," states Lois Weber, executive director of the 95th Street Business Association. The association has been committed to keeping the street beautiful, safe and shopper-friendly.

Lakeshore is the only educational store amid the many specialty shops located along the charming shopping strip in the city's bustling commercial district. Personal attention, unique merchandise and small town hospitality are part of the area's unique shopping appeal.

"The news about Lakeshore leaving spread quickly throughout the community," explains 19th Ward Alderman Ginger Rugai. "Once the word was out, the community rallied together to keep Lakeshore local. We have a large teacher and family community and we would have been devastated to see Lakeshore leave. The community can make or break a business. In this case, a viral campaign emerged with emails being sent from one user group to another, covering everything from mommy groups to city officials, making a plea to keep the Beverly store in place."

"It truly was remarkable to see the outcry from customers to keep Lakeshore as part of the 95th street mix," explains Tony Gioia, Vice President of Retail at Lakeshore. "We heard from tons of customers pleading for us to stay. I also received a call from Alderman Rugai's office asking what they could do to keep Lakeshore from leaving."

"We had a signed lease agreement in Orland Park as our new location," explains Gioia. "Having two stores in close proximity is unprecedented, but I made a final attempt to talk to the building owners in Beverly. The calls from city officials and the backing of the community certainly made our negotiations favorable. Fortunately, we were able to come to terms with a new agreement."

The tenacious outpouring of support has changed the sign hanging from Lakeshore's front doors from "Building up for Lease" to "We're staying!" Gioia states, "We are thrilled to now have two stores serving a wider area. We listened to our customers and made it happen."

Lakeshore will keep its address at 2255 W. 95th St. The new Orland Park store is located at 15780 S. La Grange Road.