Moline businesses worry about future after Best Buy closes

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MOLINE-- Businesses are wondering what's next for them after Best Buy announced it was closing its Moline store off John Deere Road.

Store managers say a lack of business is forcing the closure on November 3, 2018. This announcement comes more than a month after neighboring Toys-R-Us shut down.

Step inside Sport Clips in Moline, they'll give you the MVP treatment. But the real MVP when it comes to foot traffic for this shop is the big store you see out the window, Best Buy.

"That's how we get about 20-percent of the foot traffic from Best Buy alone," says employee Brittany Prado.

On Monday Monday August 6, 2018 the store made the announcement it's closing the Moline store in a few months. Store representatives tell WQAD News 8 that a lack of business is forcing the company to close the retail store for good.

Best Buy spokesperson John Vomhof said the stores 35 full-time employees can apply to work at other Best Buy locations or take a severance agreement. The lease on the company's Davenport store on Elmore Avenue was renewed and it will remain open, he added.

"Overall, the Davenport retail market is dominant in this region, and we believe that our Davenport store will be able to serve both sides of the river," the statement read. "Davenport also has a more expansive product selection, offering customers a better shopping experience," says Vomhof.

This isn't the first time a valuable player has left.

Toys-R-Us next door shut down June 29, 2018. And Younkers across the street is getting cut too.

"The big businesses, big box stores are closing up. It feels weird because it seems like its going to be a wasteland around here," says Rollin Metzger from Jayde's Vapor Lounge.

Jayde's is in the same shopping hub as the retail giant. Their secret weapons are electronic cigarettes.

"It does take a bunch of explaining, just in what a vape is, how it works, what the ingredients are," says Metzger.

They're not as concerned about Best Buy closing.

"We're more of a specialty shop, and so I'm not too worried about us being hurt by it," says Metzger.

But others are left throwing a Hail Mary.

"It's sad because Moline's dying while Iowa is growing," says Prado.

Moline Mayor Stephanie Acri tells WQAD News 8 that she believes Best Buy will try to move to another location in the city. Meanwhile, the Davenport Best Buy on Elmore Avenue will stay open.

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