Why the Clackamas Town Center Store Is No More

Why did we leave Clackamas Town Center? The short answer is because the mall is taking our space for another use. They are perfectly within their rights to do so, and they did offer us other spaces to move to. So, they’re not bad guys. The problem for us was that the other available spaces are really bad, both too small and too poorly located to be a real alternative for a Kitchen Kaboodle store. So, we made the decision to close down and walk away. Trying to make a go of it in a bad location that would would severely limit our selection of merchandise didn’t seem like a good idea.

The slightly longer answer is that the outdoor locations at Clackamas Town Center never really worked. They didn’t work for the stores in those spaces and they didn’t work for the mall, either. In fact, seven years after the outdoor spaces were added, several are still sitting empty, having never been occupied. Sometimes, what seems like a good idea turns out to be not so good, after all. So, the mall is going to convert our space, and quite a bit more right around it, into what they call “entertainment concepts”. What this means in the real world is that a couple of god-awful places, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, and Dave and Busters, will be coming to Clackamas Town Center, sometime in 2014.

We’re sad to leave Clackamas. We’ve been there since 1980. But, given the lack of a good way to stay, we reluctantly have to say goodbye. We thank all our great Clackamas customers for all their support. We still have our other four stores, and it’s easy to shop at http://www.kitchenkaboodle.com, so we look forward to seeing everybody again soon.

40 Comments Add yours

  1. Betsy says:

    Your words are not a very nice way to greet the new residents coming into those spaces. Arrogant and tacky.

  2. hafcanadian says:

    We disagree, and prefer the honest opinion. Mall management is the real ogre here, and has been for years. A couple more themed eateries that many of us would never go to, replacing a store that offered so many quality choices to practically everyone, is really not doing the community any favors, and displays a sad disconnect.

    Thank you, John, for your several years of trying to make it work, and for your service to customers. I only wish your other stores were closer. We enjoyed the Sunnyside store immensely, spending many hours perusing shelves and conversing with staff. Your store attracted us usually due to some household need, and other Mall venues commonly benefited as a result. They won’t any longer.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      I also prefer home cooking to the bar and grill! Cows from the cattlefield make a fine dinner, whether from Clackamas or from Bend. I believe very emotionally all in this, as well as in porcelain dinnerware.

  3. Jessikah says:

    Wow Betsy, that comment just made you look arrogant and tacky!!! I had a good laugh during and after reading this. I have lived by Town Center since it was a cattle field and can agree with everything said in this letter. (must mean I’m arrogant and tacky…….just makes me giggle) 🙂

  4. Bob says:

    But likely true

  5. Lillian says:

    Loved your store when I lived in the Clackamas area and would still shop there when I was in town. Wish you were moving to the Bend, OR area.

  6. Victoria says:

    Oh! I’m so sorry you’re leaving! Though I was disappointed when your indoor store (in the mall) moved to the outside location, now I’m disappointed again that you won’t even be there. Wishing you the best in your new location, but I will say that even a smaller space or a poorer location is better than no location at all. Something is always better than nothing, and now all of us will be missing out on the pleasure of shopping in your store locally.

    Thank you for giving us an explanation though. It’s really thoughtful of you (Kitchen Kaboodle) to let us know why you’re leaving! My curious nature is pleased.

  7. Barbara says:

    I’m sorry to see you go!!!!

  8. Jacky says:

    Thank you for the “history” behind your move. So sorry that you are being forced out. I love your store, and it was convenient.

  9. Patrick says:

    NOOOOO!!!!!! So very, very sad to see you leave. You are truly my favorite store in the Clackamas area. My home is equipped and adorned with items I have purchased from the Clackamas store throughout the years. The thought of having to travel so far to go to another one of your locations makes me sad. Whenever I needed anything for my kitchen, to Kaboodle I would go. Whenever I needed a quality, unique gift item, to Kaboodle I would go. Now it is Kaboodle that is going, and I don’t know how often in the future to Kaboodle I will go.


    1. HollyG says:

      I’ve got to agree with Patrick. Lack of parking (on Broadway), travel time and traffic nightmares (on the West side) will really be a hinderance to our future Kaboodling. I can only hope KK keeps an open mind for another location on the south – east side.

  10. Angela says:

    Unfortunately, CTC is known for this… Sorry to see you go 😦

  11. JoJo says:

    I feel compelled to agree with Betsy. Whatever the reason you’re closing this location, it is not good practice to call a fellow business “god-awful”. To include your negative remarks speaks to many of my person experiences shopping at kitchen kaboodle. Let us all strive for less snarky in the new year, please.

  12. Kathy Overton says:

    If our going to the Town Center is any indication of the effect or your move it will cost them more than it will you. There are two businesses that will bring us to the Center, you and Barnes and Noble. As said before, we almost always end up buying from other stores because we are already there. We most often buy our books from Powells or Amazon so it is not frequent we end up at Barnes and Noble so if we are any indication there will be less business. Given that KK is being replaced by restaurants the Center will probably recoup the loss of a quality store for ho-hum businesses. I think this speaks to the type of mall the Town Center is focused on. THE REAL LOSS IS KK NOT HAVING A LOCATION IN THE SOUTHEAST AREA. We hate traveling to the areas of your other locations and will probably not go that far. Wish you would open a store in Gresham. Thank you for your past years of service. Kathy

  13. hafcanadian says:

    Well said, Kathy. Like many multi-outlet Portland businesses, KK concentrates on the affluent West side, except for Lloyd Center which is still nearer town core than the true Eastside, and too far to go. Finding an ideal spacious building in an attractive area with enough customer base is no small feat. Happy Valley should have supported all that, but obviously the “outdoor locations at the (Mall) never really worked” idea speaks volumes. If that seemingly good location didn’t work, I’m not sure any other vacant location I know of in the area would work any better. I personally liked not having to negotiate the crowds inside the main mall to just go to KK, but more often than not ended up going to Sears, Penny’s, or Radio Shack while I was there.

    KK understands its locale configuration parameters far better than we, but I’d bet there are few candidates on the East side other than one of the newer Gresham malls, if they have the floor space required. The Happy Valley Town Center would be nice, near New Seasons, but available floor space is too limited. There is adjoining property for sale that’s big enough and screaming for use, but KK would have to develop it from scratch – an expensive gamble perhaps, and 3 miles from any MAX customer traffic, though that is probably no big thing. It’s just that KK and New Seasons should be complimentary to one another, attracting the same clientele.

  14. Mountain Chris says:

    Sorry to see3 you go. Would be nice to have a sign on the construction barrier letting people know you are closed. We drove around and around yesterday trying to figure out what was going on.Raining pretty hard so did not want to wander looking.

    1. johnkaboodle says:

      Good point. We are officially out of the mall, so I’m not sure they’ll let us put up a sign, but we will check that out.

  15. Jodi says:

    So so sad to see you go. KK was far and away the store I shopped most at Town Center. Your staff was always so friendly and helpful. Consideration for a Southeast store would be greatly welcome! West Linn? Lake Oswego? Thank you for your years of service.

    1. johnkaboodle says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Jodi. We’ll keep our eyes open.

  16. hafcanadian says:

    West Linn and Lake Oswego aren’t Southeast, and would not be properly far enough from the other stores to be advantageous to Southeast and Eastside customers.

  17. Michelle says:

    Disappointing that this retailer decided to sink to a junior high level in its comments about the two new tenants. Speaks volumes to your business ethics. Stay classy.

  18. Yvonne says:

    I too am sorry to see this wonderful establishment leave the area. We who live in southeast seem to be forgotten when it comes to excellent quality. KK has superior products for a great price in my opinion.

  19. Shirley says:

    We would love to have a Kitchen Kaboddle in Vancouver (WA). It would be nice to shop on our side of the river once in awhile :).

  20. Jack Parris says:

    Glad to see you go. Now we’ll get a great entertainment restaurant in your place.

  21. Dan says:

    Glad to hear of more dining options at Clackamas Town Center. I really like what they’ve done with the Clackamas/Happy Valley area. As a shopper, I never think of the outside shops so I could see where that would be an issue. I wouldn’t describe Dave and Busters as a “God Awful” place. It’s like a Chuck E Cheese for adults…

    1. Dan says:

      Also, Toby Keith ‘ s has pulled out of this location. They didn’t want to compete with D&B.

  22. Ray says:

    Your comments reek of bitterness. You say you wanted to stay, but yet in the same breath, say that the outdoor spaces never truly worked…It is obvious that you are bitter for being “kicked out” of the town center for another business. I know business, and if you were willing to pay to stay, they would have let you stay. Unfortunately you cant leave gracefully and chalk it up to business casualty, you have to slander other businesses.

    Terrible. Ill never buy another think from KK.

    1. johnkaboodle says:

      “Reek of bitterness”? Not at all, Ray. We’re moving on and don’t have time to be bitter. Just don’t like things like Dave & Busters, that’s all. One person’s opinion is hardly slander, is it? Cheers!

      1. Amanda says:

        Sure sounds like you’re bitter, heaven forbid something moves in that would bring in exponentially more traffic and money into the area than you kitschy items ever could. Snarky comments are what makes people stay away, and I’ll certainly never buy anything from your company, and all advise my friends to do the same. (BTW: This is the first D&B coming to this state, which is something to celebrate.)

      2. johnkaboodle says:

        Dave, we’re sorry! Buster, we apologize! Amanda, please forgive us!

        Dave & Buster’s is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Everybody happy now?

  23. hafcanadian says:

    If Ray really knew business he’d understand. Or maybe he just didn’t thoroughly absorb your explanation after he noted what he took as bitterness. It was perfectly clear to most of us. If you’ve been to the store you know the footprint required to do a proper presentation. This particular store was better configured than most of its type. As a result it was well-stocked, not cramped, nicely designed with what anthropologists and psychologists would call ‘human engineering’, aesthetically pleasing, and most importantly it was a comfortable place to spend some time.

    Don’t acuse John and his colleagues of poor business acumen. Obviously the Mall just couldn’t provide another site that was up to snuff and capable of rendering the same features mentioned, and expected from Kaboodle. I took note of the “strong” words in his explanation too, but that didn’t lead us to ignore the practical and sensible reasons for his exiting the venue. His opinions of those taking his stead are his to proffer, and “slander” is no less strong an accusation; for what it’s worth we in this household agree there is too much of a proliferation of themed eateries in the Town Center, but don’t begrudge the Mall management’s concept of attracting shoppers.

    It’s just that Kaboodle was more of an attraction to us. We certainly agree with Kathy Overton’s commentary though (Jan. 3), and hope it’s not long before another Kitchen Kaboodle reappears to the convenience of those of us home chefs now underserved in the North Clackamas and far eastside.

  24. traver says:

    This blog post and seeing the responses to other posts by “john” at Kitchen, it’s no longer an establishment I’d like to support. I’ll stick with Williams Sonoma & Sur La Table. The arrogance displayed here is absurd. Sorry man, I just cannot support it.

    1. johnkaboodle says:

      If having an opinion is being absurdly arrogant,so be it. Sorry!

  25. Kate says:

    In google-ing to find out why the clackamas location didn’t exist anymore, I came upon this post.
    To the author, “johnkaboodle,” I say this: At the beginning of your post I was very taken with how fair and respectful you were to the mall and their decision, especially given the impact it had on your store. Your words and approach regarding your dealings with the mall represented the “high road,” and I secretly liked your organization all the more for it. But then just a little further down in your post you quickly undid all that goodwill (and more) with your negative comments about “god-awful…Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, and Dave and Busters.” Like you, these places might not be at the top of my personal choices for entertainment, but why take so much care with your words regarding the mall only to then insult the innocent businesses coming in? Further, how incredibly foolish and ignorant of you as a businessman to make such demeaning and judgmental comments. Do you not think it possible you could have potential (or even existing) customers for your other stores in the employees or owners of either of these incoming establishments??? Well probably not anymore. Rule #1: EVERYONE is a potential customer. Shame on you for such a passive-aggressive public display of carelessness and ignorance. I’m not sure your business deserves to thrive with attitudes such as this on display.

    1. johnkaboodle says:

      It’s just an opinion. We all have them. You display yours in calling me “foolish and ignorant”, “demeaning and judgmental”, “passive-aggressive”, negative and insulting. Who knows? It may be true; I can live with that. As I’m sure “innocent businesses” like Dave & Buster’s can live with my opinions.

  26. hafcanadian says:

    Well said, John. The term “Godawful” was one word and you have a right to express your attitude. The multiple-word “insults” flying your way in response are no better, especially after several months of it, and I think you’ve endured here far more disparagement than those restaurants got from your one word on one day.

    Be aware that there are some of us that actually read your responses, understand them, respect them, and won’t let one word keep us from using your stores. Their huge selection, helpful friendly staff, and competitive prices mean far more to most people trying to stock their homes with quality products than one relatively innocuous word.

    I think people just need to move on.

    1. johnkaboodle says:

      Thanks, hafcanadian. We all have opinions, as can clearly be seen here. I actually wish Dave & Buster’s all the success in the world, and I hope people enjoy it. I just don’t like it, that’s all. In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn’t have said so, but that’s okay. Here’s to moving on!

  27. Kate says:

    Yes, johnkaboodle, we all have opinions and we certainly all have a right to express them. Freedom of speech is a right I hold dear and would not want denied anyone. Nevertheless, even though you have a right to do so, as a local businessman it is not a very smart (or kind) move to says things publicly that will likely insult and/or alienate your potential customer base. I know that you have lost a customer in me as a result, and I’m sure there will be others that read this that will react similarly.Your choice? Absolutely. Particularly smart? No. That was my main point, which is obviously lost and both you and hafcanadian. (BTW, I don’t have a customer base on this forum to concern myself with, as you do; that is the primary difference b/w my comments here and yours.)

    1. hafcanadian says:

      Your point couldn’t have been lost – it’s been responded to several times here already.

      What seems to be lost is the notion of moving on.

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