Walmart image

It’s the stuff of a modern urban legend. David vs Goliath. The multi-national corporation versus small-town America.

Anytime a new business comes to Peru, or one closes (like what just happened with Kmart), people tell the tale of when Walmart tried to build a store in Peru.

Some versions tell the story of a city official dressing up as a clown to insult Walmart and keep them from building here. Some versions say the city opposed the Walmart to protect our local Kmart store while others say it was done to protect local businesses. Whatever version is told, they all tell a tale of a giant multi-national cooperation being insulted and shut out of Peru by our local business owners and government officials with Walmart vowing never to build a store in Peru. But is any of it true?

One local businessman has had his fill with the tall tales and wants to set the record straight. Dave Van Baalen owns several local businesses including the Roxy Theatre which sits on the site that Wal-Mart was interested in buying in the late 80s and early 90s.

At the time Walmart wanted to build here, the land where the Roxy sits was owned by Russ Beller, who has worked with Van Baalen in many business ventures over the years.

Photo of Peru Kmart location

Peru, IN - Sears/Kmart has told employees earlier this week that 80 Sears and Kmart locations across the US will shut by March, with liquidation sales to begin in early January 2019. The Peru Kmart was among the locations announced for closure.

This comes after the announcement that 142 store closures when the company filed for bankruptcy in October 2018 and another round of 40 closures in November 2018.

Peru Indiana Today attempted to contact the manager of the Peru Kmart location and was advised that employees have been instructed not to comment on the closure.

Unemployment graphic.

INDIANAPOLIS  – Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.6 percent for November and remains lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent. With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana's unemployment rate now has been below the U.S. rate for more than five years. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force.

Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 2,216 over the previous month. This was a result of a 2,122 increase in unemployed residents and an increase of 94 employed residents. Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.40 million, and the state’s 65.1 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.9 percent.

Learn more about how unemployment rates are calculated here: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/infographics/employment-status.asp

Nickel Plate Saloon Logo

Peru, IN – The Nickel Plate Saloon, at 106 S. Broadway Street, Peru is hosting their 22nd Annual Toys for Tots/Shop With a Cop Fundraiser on Saturday, December 15, 2018.

This year’s event features live performances by Ed Money 2.0, Broken Noise, IamJavae, and Austen Fouch! Each group is donating their time to help make this show a success.

The admission price to the show is one unwrapped, unopened toy or a cash donation at the door. The event begins at 9:00 p.m. on the 15th and you must be at least 21 years old to attend.

The toys will be donated to the Local Marine Corps Toys For Tots drive with the cash donations being given to the Peru Police Department’s Annual Shop With A Cop event taking place later this month.

According to Nickel Plate owner Debbie Spencer, who owns the business with her husband Rich, Ed Money is the promoter of the show and has been involved in this charity event for many years.

Pandora's Box Resale Shop Logo

Peru, IN – Amy Netherton, the owner of Pandora’s Box Resale Shop is very pleased to announce that due to the overwhelming response of the community, she has decided to seek a larger retail space for her new store.

The Grand Opening has been moved to December 10, 2018, to allow her to move into a new location at 9 Broadway Plaza. This is the old Radio Shack location at the Plaza.

The new space is nearly twice the size of her former location. She will also continue to offer Alchemist Vapor Shop products at the new location.

Domino's Logo

PERU, Ind., Nov. 19, 2018 – Domino’s newly relocated “pizza theater” in Peru, located at 950 W. Main St., is now officially open for business!

The newly relocated store, which was formerly located at 491 N. Broadway, features a 1,520-square-foot pizza theater design which allows flexibility for a number of elements otherwise unheard of when it comes to the “traditional” Domino’s store. Highlights include a comfortable lobby, open-area viewing of the food preparation process, indoor seating for 14 customers, free Wi-Fi, a drive-thru window for carryout orders and the ability to track carryout orders electronically on a lobby screen. The store also features a chalkboard to allow customers to express their creativity or to leave feedback for the store team members.

“We are so excited to offer our customers an even better, more interactive experience,” said Jimmy Ruedlinger, Peru Domino’s operating partner. “Now, customers can actually watch and track their pizza being made, each step of the way.”

Pandora's Box Logo

Peru, IN – A new high-end resale shop is coming to Peru and if you act fast, you can earn some extra Black Friday shopping money by selling your gently used brands that are taking up space in your closet!

Amy Netherton is the owner of Pandora’s Box, which will be located at 656 W. Main Street, Suite One.(Changed to 9 Broadway Plaza, the former location of Radio Shack) This is the current location of Alchemist Vapor Shop and Lounge, but Alchemist fans have no fear. The vape shop will still be there and continue to operate.  It will just be in a more secure section of the building in order to prevent youth access to vapor products. Alchemist has been owned operated by Amy and her husband, Larry, since 2014.

Amy has also been very active in the vapor industry and is the current president of the leading vapor association in the state called Indiana Smoke-Free Alliance, but this new venture is completely her own.

“While Peru has a number of great second hand and thrift stores, it doesn’t have anything that specializes in high-end fashion brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach, Dior and Hollister,” said Netherton. “I wanted to create something that was geared towards empowering young men and women. I want them to feel special and know they are beautiful inside and we can help with the outside.”

Photo By Denise Sims Ryan

Peru, IN – Farmington Estates apartments is now under new management and plans an extensive renovation of the property located on South Hilltop Drive in Peru.

According to Jonathan Bell, the Community Manager at Farmington Estates, H.I. Management took over the property about two months ago. H.I. Management is currently the Indiana Apartment Association’s management company of the year.

“What we do is go into communities that have been maybe let go, or something’s happened that has caused a bad reputation, and we go and clean that up,” according to Mr. Bell. “We just make everything nice and make the community thrive.”

The current plans for Farmington Estates include $2 million dollars in renovations including new roofs in December, followed by new siding and some sidewalk repairs. They also plan on repaving all the parking lots at the complex and relocating the mailboxes to a more convenient location for the residents.

The complex includes ninety-six units, some of which are government subsidized. Formally the subsidized units were separated, but as leases are expiring in the subsidized section, the company is having people move to the other half so that the remaining units can be refurbished.