A Village Shops fixture for 62 years, Spangler’s will shut its doors in April

Bill Spangler won a Community Spirit Award in Prairie Village in 2015.
Bill Spangler won a Community Spirit Award in Prairie Village in 2015.

The longest running operation at the Village Shops will close its doors, the latest in a string of shutterings at the center among long-time tenants.

Spangler’s, the home decor and gift shop that has been in business at the center for 62 years, announced today that it was shutting down in April. Owner Bill Spangler opened the store in August 1955 after starting his career working at S.S. Kresge Co. When the store opened, it focused primarily on linens and bedding.

Now 95, he still spends hours each week in the shop, though manager Nancy Henry has been in charge of day-to-day operations for many years. Henry said a number of factors contributed to the decision.

“First, Bill Spangler is 95 years young. His retirement is overdue,” Henry said. “Second, we have watched Prairie Village business change dramatically, particularly in the past 20 years. Being a locally-owned, single location store is not a favorable proposition in today’s rapidly evolving retail business climate where ‘The Internet of Things’ makes shopping available 24 hours, 7 days a week. And third, our most vexing problem is parking demand. The higher traffic storefronts, like the U.S. Post Office and a new children’s activity center, means that our customers have had difficulty finding parking space. We have enjoyed tremendous customer support through the years. Our customers -and many of their dogs – are like an extended family.”

The news marks the third closure of the longest-tenured businesses at the center in the past several weeks. Tiffany Town, which opened as Bob’s Card and Party Shop at the center in 1964, announced in January it was closing. Bruce Smith Drugs, which opened in 1955, made its closure to the public official just a week and a half later.