Everett, Spokane connections stores to close this summer

ANGELICA RELENTE, Evergreen reporter

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WSU connections stores located in Spokane and Everett will be closing this summer due to lack of revenue.

The original purpose behind the stores was to expand the Cougar spirit, said Phil Weiler, WSU vice president of marketing and communications.

“Our goal was to have an increased presence in each of those communities,” he said.

A third store in Seattle closed last year. University officials began re-evaluating the other stores after the Rainier Tower mall, which housed the Seattle store, was slated to be demolished, according to The Spokesman Review.

Weiler said the Seattle connections store was one of the businesses in the mall that lost its lease.

He said people are shopping online more, rather than at physical stores. The university decided that keeping the connections stores open was not the best way to invest in the community, Weiler said.

The online connections store will also close, he said, and they will direct customers to a larger-scale WSU store. He said people can still go to local retailers in Spokane and Everett to buy Cougar gear, as well as The Bookie on both campuses.

He said it is unlikely the connections stores will re-open.

“If they’re making money, that’s great,” Weiler said. “If they aren’t making money, then it just doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to continue to support financially those operations when there are faculty and student programs that are having to make reductions in spending.”

The connections store in downtown Spokane will close on May 19, but the athletics ticket office will remain open. The Everett connections store will close in early June.