After more than half a century Nebraska City is saying goodbye to Pendleton Woolen Mills in January of 2017.
This marks the end of an era which began with the opening of a woolen mill plant in 1963 and grew into a popular shopping destination at several locations around Nebraska City before landing at the current location at 115 South 8th St.
Pendleton’s exodus from Nebraska City began in October 2003 when the plant, which employed 64 people, was relocated.
Although the retail outlet continued to hang on, it too has now fallen victim to changing corporate focus and strategies.
According to a company statement they are moving away from the single store model for their outlet stores looking to joining more outlet mall type facilities.
Retail outlets are also seeking more high traffic urban locations.
Pendleton retail stores are located in 17 states while Pendleton Outlets are only located in 15, soon to be 14, states nationwide.
The Home Store and the Woolen Mill store are both located in Portland, Oregon.
Partnerships with Disney, Lucasfilm, and the National Parks Service, announced in 2015 as well as more recently announced collaborations with Lucky Brand, Vans, Ugg and others, also seem to hint that the company is trying to attract younger and more active shoppers.
As of January, the Pendleton Distribution Center in Bellevue will be the company’s only presence in Nebraska although three other stores including Von Maur in Lincoln and Dillard’s in Omaha will continue to carry Pendleton Products.
The company is also expanding its global footprint especially in Japan.
“We appreciate your loyalty to the Pendleton brand and your understanding,” Mort Bishop III, president of Pendleton said. “This decision was not an easy one to make, requiring a great deal of analysis and introspection.”