Good Works Furniture Store Closing, Says It's the "First Casualty" of the Delmar Loop Trolley

Categories: Bidness

GOODWORKS1.JPG
Lindsay Toler
Rita Navarro and Chris Dougher, owners of Good Works.
Good Works furniture store is closing after 23 years in the Delmar Loop, and the owners say the Loop Trolley is to blame.

Chris Dougher and Rita Navarro tell Daily RFT that the Loop has changed from a neighborhood street to an entertainment district for tourists, young people and students, which brings plenty of foot traffic to bars, ice-cream stores and novelty shops -- but not to furniture stores.

"We're not happy with what we see," Navarro says. "It's a carnival on weekends here. There's no place to walk, there's no place to park."

And as the Loop prepares for the new trolley, a $43 million project that will connect the Loop with Forest Park, things will only get worse, Navarro says. Between construction and increased tourist traffic, there's no future for a store that caters to a local client base.

"We are not going to endure the trolley traffic construction only...to end up with a mess," Navarro says. "We probably would have stayed in business longer if it hadn't been for the trolley."

See also: Loop Trolley Project Slapped with Second Lawsuit

Dougher and Navarro say they're ditching the Loop before things get too bad and are going into retirement earlier than planned. Already, they saw a significant dip in back-to-school sales in August when Washington University's new student housing on the Loop opened with furnished apartments -- another sign that the Loop is catering to a transient student population instead of its University City neighbors, the owners say.

GOODWORKS2.JPG
Lindsay Toler
Good Works started a retirement sale this week.
Dougher and Navarro have spoken out against the trolley since Loop impresario Joe Edwards first got serious with the idea more than six years ago.

"It is very conducive to restaurants, hotels and nightclubs to have a trolley," says Navarro in a thinly veiled shot at Edwards, who owns the Loop's Blueberry Hill, Moonrise Hotel, the Pageant concert venue and the Pin-Up Bowl. "It's just entertainment, but I guess tourists will ride it, maybe. Local people aren't going to use the trolley."

The trolley project has been delayed again and again by lawsuits and other roadblocks, but construction crews got started relocating utilities along the trolley route this summer.

"With a huge public-works project on Delmar about to begin, we just don't want to suffer through the negative impact it will inevitably have on our store," says Dougher, who calls her store the "first casualty" of the Loop trolley. "And in the end, adding trolley traffic to Delmar will only make access to retail stores more difficult."

Before the store closes for good, probably in about a month, Good Works is hosting a retirement/going-out-of-business sale until owners sell out of what's in their warehouse.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

My Voice Nation Help
195 comments
Amy Healey- Carter
Amy Healey- Carter

Love this store, but in all honesty it is really overpriced for the people that shop in that area. I go there to get ideas, then buy something similar from more reasonably priced stores.

niko2137
niko2137

Why are the whining about it? The only store that was out of place was the overprice furniture store! The Loop is surround by 3 colleges and is a top tourist destinations because of the historic theaters an restaurants like Blueberry hill, and stores like Vintage Vinyl & Avalon Exchange. Those have always been the money makes not the out of place, overly expensive furniture store.

People want a place to socialize, eat good food, people watch, and listen to street music- and the loop is about the only place in STL that you can do all that! Not to mention its centrally located and next to STL hotspot Forest Park!

  So more power to the Trolley system..bring in 
those people and their revenue to the city, revitalize the Loop even more.  btw the college kids are  big spenders, without them keeping it going, the loop would have just been another dinky street full of crappy shops and no interesting stops!

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

The trolley is dumb but I would blame their over priced cheaply made fad furniture before I blamed the trolley that's not even in service. I'm sure IKEA was a kick in their nuts too.

Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson

I figured that more eyes would equal higher profits. But yeah, people who go to the Loop are certainly not interested in furniture! ;-)

Cruh Egg
Cruh Egg

What tourist goes to St. Louis anyway?

Lajuan Bonnett
Lajuan Bonnett

The loop hasn't been a neighborhood street since the late 90's....the writings been on the wall since Starbucks replaced Dairy queen and Nelly closed Squad 1

William Tharp
William Tharp

I thought this project was a good idea when i first heard about it. But it seems not to be the case. Does anyone know where this trolley will run? And the concern sounds similar to why some didnt want the Metro in St. Charles

James Harris
James Harris

Only tourists will ride it if there are no business to offer the employment a potential employee would ride it to.

Stacy Mariebeck
Stacy Mariebeck

The trolley is going to circle the History Museum and then go through The Loop...it's not just going up and down a couple blocks of Delmar.....

Andrew Fordham
Andrew Fordham

As a CWE resident, I would certainly have taken the trolley. It's a long three mile walk through some sketchy neighborhoods to get to the Loop from CWE and this would seeming mitigate a lot of that.

Jolena Shatzer
Jolena Shatzer

They could relocate west if they really feel they're in an entertainment or tourist zone. I understand tourists don't buy big items like furniture. Sounds like they picked a good reason to end up in the news and get publicity for their sale. I'm fine with the trolley idea because driving down Delmar to try to get to the parking garage which is sometimes full is a pain. If I could park on the perimeter and hop the trolley I'd probably go there more, especially for movies at the beautiful Tivoli theater and one of the many eclectic restaurant options for dinner. Now I avoid the Loop unless I have guests in town or tickets to a show. My concern is that the trolley is well secured though considering the recent knock out video that was posted from Delmar Loop. Also contrary to some comments, St. Louis does have a healthy tourism scene. Many of our attractions have been featured on nationwide lists of places to visit (i.e. City Museum, MoBot and I think even Delmar Loop).

Shannon Marfell Doza
Shannon Marfell Doza

Well, no, I most likely won't ride it, unless we have out of town guests who want to.

Brantner Cook
Brantner Cook

Tourist :-/ don't no tourist visit the S-T-hel L

Damian Krabill
Damian Krabill

Because her business in the wrong location. People aren't going to Delmar to buy furniture.

Brian Duggan
Brian Duggan

The trolley will create a light rail link from the forest park metro link station to the loop. It's a win for the businesses in the loop. I'm not from U City but have shopped in their store many times. If the business owners want to call it quits that's their prerogative. They've been at it for many years. Saying its because of the trolley..... Well, that sounds like sour grapes to me.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

trolley or not... there's an ikea on the horizon.

Nancy Clark
Nancy Clark

I agree...the Loop is only a few blocks long anyway...a trolley s a bad idea IMHO

Jon Ackley
Jon Ackley

The trolley project is an epic and monumental waste of time and funds. They would be better served putting the money towards beefing up security in the Loop. Also, someone needs to Google the word "boon".

Barry Bean
Barry Bean

They make a ridiculous argument. The loop has been an entertainment district for decades. The trolley will just make it a little easier to get there. It won't drive customers from their store.

Sarah Harris
Sarah Harris

I week take my little boy to ride it. He'd be thrilled

Brad Hicks
Brad Hicks

Absolutely. It's a longish walk from the Delmar Metrolink station to the entertainment venues on the Loop. But that's not the gist of her complaint. The gist of her complaint, per the article, is that it won't be people *from U City,* and those are her (captive) customers.

Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson

So this store is closing because there will be too many people walking past it everyday? That sounds a like an opportunity not a boon.

Maria Arcobasso
Maria Arcobasso

Out with the old, in with the...eh, you know how it goes.

Tom Clooney
Tom Clooney

Talked to someone just yesterday who has lived in NYC her entire life, and traveled the USA some, but not a lot. She was delighted to tell me she had been to my old stomping rounds-the Loop, twice!!! She mentioned Blueberry Hill by name and "the root beer place" but never said anything about a furniture store........ Humm!!!

Edward Hecker
Edward Hecker

While I agree with their assertion that The Loop and the Loop Trolley is changing the demographic of the retail customer who goes to The Loop from local U. City residents to more transient college students, I do not agree with their assertion that the Loop Trolley is going to kill businesses on The Loop, provided those businesses adapt to the new demographic being created in the process of increasing the general economic viability of The Loop as an economic entity. If they don't want to retire, perhaps they should consider moving further west to, say, Jackson, Hanley or North And South, where their residential target demo actually lives?

Kimberly Kelly
Kimberly Kelly

Dear ladies, I have been going to the loop for years and have never patronized your store. You will not be missed.

Robert Rhoads
Robert Rhoads

Best wishes to our friends and former neighbors in Compton Heights, Chris and Rita, on your new journey. Now, maybe you will have some time to come visit us in Fort Lauderdale!

Gracie Be
Gracie Be

Sorry to see this store go. I loved their furniture and it was reasonably priced. I have purchased pieces from them in the past. And now that I live in this new town, am sad that I've never found anything similar here. Too bad for St. Louis to loose such a gem!

Scotts Contracting
Scotts Contracting

You are so right! "I'm so tired of anti progress old people in St Louis." // 'Out with the old and in with the New Age of Business'= Dealing with People, Adopting Policies that help not hinder,.......on and on!

Michelle L Parsons
Michelle L Parsons

If your business can't keep up with the changes in areas over time then maybe it's for the best.....Personally for me, I haven't been in the loop since that double shooting in broad daylight. #NoThankYou

tomking
tomking

would it be too confusing to go ahead and drop the 'loop' moniker and just call it edwardsville?


mudhead
mudhead

Bitter much? They should close, as they no longer find any joy in it. Makes me wonder, though, how was business in the 70s before Joe Edwards got involved in reviving the Loop?

JJ Vines
JJ Vines

These 2 idiots have an agenda. Probably tea party morons...

Jim Booker
Jim Booker

Parking could be better. It's a fun place to go to.

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

Sounds like they shouldn't have opened a store in that location if they wanted perfection.

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

So they're predicting the trolley will have a negative impact? I've heard it all!!!

jloop
jloop

Loop Living Furniture   Just Opened Cool store!!!!

jloop
jloop

Loop Living Furniture   Just Opened Cool store!!!!

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...