Department store offers current apparel with old-fashioned service

ADVERTORIAL / ST. GEORGE — ‘Tis the season for crowded stores, grumpy employees, and battling your neighbor for that last sweater on the shelf — right? Wrong. There is an alternative to the big box retailers that is local, centered around customer service, and offers just as competitive pricing.

Photo courtesy of Christensen's | St. George News
Christensen’s  Department Store, St. George, Utah, undated | PHoto courtesy of Christensen’s Department Store, St. George News

Christensen’s Department Store has been a part of the Utah community for over 85 years, originally established by Alten Christensen when he began the journey into retail by opening a nickel and dime store in Richfield. Today, all store locations are owned and run by descendants of Alten Christensen, a living representation of what it means to keep it in the family.

Tyler Christensen, who owns the St. George Christensen’s, remembers many years of his childhood spent in the store. He started out sweeping and separating hangers and came to learn the store’s ins and outs and most importantly the ideology of the store’s focus on customer service. After returning from his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  in his 20s, he began taking on a management role.

“We’re referred to as a mom and pop small town store,” Christensen said. “Our focus always has been and always will be customer service.”

Unlike many retailers who offer generic and impersonalized service, Christensen’s keeps to traditional methods of business, offering customized services like free alterations, free gift wrap, and special orders.

“In this day in age, that’s something that’s been lost,” Tyler Christensen said. “We feel like we always want to be known for that.”

Photo courtesy of Christensen's | St. George News
Christensen’s Department Store, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Christensen’s Department Store, St. George News

Christensen’s is a full-fledged department store, selling everything from baby clothes, to men’s suits, to purses and other accessories. And they are always focused on meeting the community’s needs, offering modest clothing and a range of products.

The biggest thing Christensen’s is known for however is its expansive shoe selection. There is always someone to assist customers the old-fashioned way: measuring your foot, helping you find the right size, and making sure it fits just right.

When it comes to pricing, Tyler Christensen said, he worries people may have some misconceptions about the store, believing it only sells expensive merchandise. In reality, Christensen’s offers a wide variety of products, ranging from high-end to more budget-friendly items, and is constantly shopping other stores to stay current with the market.

“We try to be very competitive in our pricing,” Tyler Christensen said. “We’ll always meet or beat.”

Christensen’s employees have the opportunity to work their way up to become buyers for the store. That way they will have gotten to know their customers, the store, and be able to fill the shelves with what they know people are looking for. On top of that, the buying is all done locally, which fuels small businesses all over the state.

New Cedar City store in progress | Photo courtesy of Rob Christensen
New Christensen’s Department Store’s new building under construction, Cedar City, Utah, circa 2014 | Photo courtesy of Rob Christensen, St. George News

There are Christensen’s stores located in St. George, Richfield, and Cedar City. In Cedar City they are contracting a brand new 23,000 square foot building to which they will be relocating next year.

“It’s exiting, new, and fresh,” Tyler Christensen said. “We’re excited and looking forward to having a new location. We’re grateful for the support that the public has given us over the past 30-plus years and we look forward to many years to come.”

The new store will be located at 984 South Main in Cedar City, with a projected open date in June.

Resources

  • Christensen’s Department Store locations

761 S Bluff St, St. George | 435-628-4213
929 S Main St, Cedar City | 435-586-9851
39 N Main St, Richfield | 435-896-6466

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20 Comments

  • elliemae100 December 15, 2014 at 11:54 am

    If you have the money, you can buy the story.

    • No secret December 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Are you surprised? It clearly states “advertorial”. Something has to pay these folks for their time putting the news together for us.

      • elliemae100 December 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

        Yes, I’m always surprised when an advertisement is presented as a news story. They have ads on their site to pay the bills; writing an “advertorial” serves them and their client. It ain’t news, and it ain’t advertising.

        • No secret December 16, 2014 at 8:08 am

          I bet the next advertorial you read you will have an understanding that it is only a long paid advertisement. The more you know.

  • Chris December 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Both times I shopped there I had unpleasant customer service experiences. Twice was enough for me.

  • Joe Smith December 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I’m always surprised that they’re able to stay in business. Their prices are really quite high.

  • Gentile December 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    The ONLY way they stay is business is their continued support from the folks who belong to the same religion that they belong to. They are certainly part of the Good Old Boy system that is so prevalent around here.

    • Glad I live in a free world. December 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Then what is the problem? You are saying they stay in business for Mormons with Mormons spending their money. Not unlike the Deseret bookstores. Who cares? Go to Sears if you want to.

    • Destin West December 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      And of course @gentile you would never ever shop there would you. Those blasted Mormon owners, right. You are an idiot if you think a good old boy system will keep a business in play. It is a nice store that stays in business because of customer service and quality products. You go ahead and keep shopping at Walmart for your favorite line of clothing. Many others of us will shop at Christensen’s, Mormon or not.

  • Meagan Leigh December 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I went in there once. They had a prominent display of Glenn Beck books. I left.

  • indy-vfr December 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    We enjoy shopping at Christensen’s. We’ve found many get deals!
    Sorry, but we’re not part of any GOB network.

  • Shelly December 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I am a very experienced shopper, and even their ‘sale’ prices are really high. Much better deals at places like Kohl’s, with good brand names. I went to Christensen’s two or three times years ago, and that was it for me also. Nothing to do with religion, I’ll shop any place where there are good deals.

    • Robocop December 16, 2014 at 12:08 am

      Yeah what SHELLY said.!

  • Joanna December 16, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Hmm… Maybe I need to give them another try. I went in a few years ago, and couldn’t believe how expensive everything was. Average looking shirts cost 60 to 70 dollars!

  • mo ferguson December 16, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Everyone’s heard that old saying….”you get what you pay for”. I have bought summer shirts at Kohls and Wal Mart for a very good price. Only to have them come apart (stitching coming undone, etc.) in the washer. I have purchased shirts at this store and at Dillards at slightly higher prices, and are still going strong through washer and dryer workouts. I will continue to shop/support this store because of their quality merchandise and outstanding customer service. “You get what you pay for…”

  • My Evil Twin December 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I shopped there years ago, when your choices for clothes shopping amounted to Christensen’s or Kmart in St. George, (Walmart was NEVER an option as far as I was concerned,) or going to Vegas. Back then, I found it much better to make the drive to Vegas and shop there. If you had much to purchase, you would pay for the gas, plus a good Vegas meal, in the money you saved.
    Since Sears and Penneys came in, I have done most of my shopping there. I got so doggone disgusted with Christensen’s prices and snobbish attitude, that I likely will never go in there again.
    So even if they have changed to excellent customer service, and started being competitive with their prices, they lost this customer, way back when.

    • Joe Smith December 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Didn’t know that TWIN was such an old timer…

    • Koolaid December 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      While in Vegas or driving through Mesquite, you could stock up on liquor as well. Was that during the time when St George people were regularly going to that porn shop in Mesquite?

      • KOOLAID December 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm

        Not that I’ve ever been there. Just asking. And I know that I had to drink my liquor there since I couldn’t bring it back into Utah legally. Spiked Koolaid.

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