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.
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.”
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.
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.
- 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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