Retail Roundup: ListenUp moving into Drexel digs

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ListenUp is closing its store at the corner of Tejon Street and Platte Avenue and moving to 888 E. Woodmen Road.  The company paid $1.9 million for the 12,000-square-foot building, which is now occupied by Drexel Heritage Home Furnishings and Interior Design.

ListenUp is closing its store at the corner of Tejon Street and Platte Avenue and moving to 888 E. Woodmen Road. The company paid $1.9 million for the 12,000-square-foot building, which is now occupied by Drexel Heritage Home Furnishings and Interior Design.

Furniture retailers Eric and Ann Fetsch will close their Drexel Heritage Home Furnishings and Interior Design business near Interstate 25 and Woodmen Road later this summer.

Downtown audio visual retailer ListenUp has purchased the 12,000-square-foot Drexel Heritage retail showroom at 888 E. Woodmen Road and will move its retail operation there.

“We’re in the process of selling all of our inventory,” said Eric Fetsch. “Right now the response has been phenomenal. We normally see 1,000 families a month in our showroom, but in June we saw more than 2,500.”

Launched during 1972, ListenUp specializes in residential and commercial audio/video systems. The company operates six locations in Colorado, including Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver.

ListenUp earned Top-10 Retailer of the Year honors from AudioVideo International magazine during 2008, and co-founder Walt Stinson was selected for induction into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame earlier this year.

The company purchased the Drexel Heritage building for $1.9 million during April and has leased the space to the Fetsch’s for the past three months.

ListenUp’s lease at 230 N. Tejon St. is expiring and the company plans to open its Woodmen Road showroom by late autumn.

The Fetsch’s began their foray into the furniture business 32 years ago when they opened Four Walls Furniture in Vail. The pair moved to Colorado Springs during 1985 and opened Country Classics Furniture on Garden of the Gods Road.

“We built our current showroom near I-25 and Woodmen Road in 1992,” Eric said. “That was at the end of another big recession, and when we moved here people thought we were crazy. There was nothing out here other than the Ent Federal Credit Union. Tiffany Square was up, but empty, and the Windchime Center didn’t exist.”

Upon the closure of Drexel Heritage, the Fetsch’s plan to continue their work in Colorado Springs’ nonprofit sector, pursuing green building and business sustainability projects.

Eric said he and Ann still have two warehouses of furniture to sell before they hand the showroom over to ListenUp, and finding employment for their current staff has become a primary goal.

“Twenty families depend on us for income, including warehouse, service employees, office managers, accessory buyers and our six interior designers,” he said, “so we need to find something for each of them.”

Drive-in movie lovers rejoice

For the second consecutive summer, The Promenade Shops at Briargate is showing free outdoor movies.

Every Thursday night through Aug. 6, the shopping center shows a family friendly movie on a 26-foot inflatable screen in its parking lot.

Promenade Shops at Briargate General Manager Jennifer Crowley thought of the idea for the outdoor movies three years ago. Offices employees at the center decide the lineup of movies through a consensus vote.

Designed as both a community outreach program and as a means of luring shoppers to the center on weekday nights, the Thursday night movies draw crowds of more than 1,000 people.

“This is a way for us to bring people to the center, people who don’t normally shop here,” said Promenade Shops at Briargate Marketing Director Deanna DeLarge.

Movie showings begin at dusk. For more information and to view future movie listings visit www.thepromenadeshopsatbriargate.com.

Scott Prater covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.