Two Chicago-area businessmen are preparing to unveil a "first of its kind children's retail warehouse" this year with Wonder!, a big-box chain addressing the needs of families and children from infancy to age 7. Bill Colaianni, a former Wal-Mart executive, and Shane Christensen, a venture capitalist, have plans to open their first store later this year in a 135,000-square-foot space in Deerfield, Ill., and promise to set Wonder! apart from the competition via an extensive product assortment and unmatched services. According to GlobeSt.com, the duo project opening 19 locations in the next five years and foresee the chain spreading across the country.
"It was our thinking that in down times people will still spend money on children's needs," Colaianni, CEO of Wonder LLC, told GlobeSt.com. "Also, if you look at the statistics, live birth rates were up 1.2 percent each year in 2006, '07 and '08. The potential customer base is growing at a rapid rate."
Sears Holdings has reportedly sub-leased an empty property for the initial Wonder! store, which will be outfitted with party rooms, an activity room and a restaurant serving healthy foods. For further details, visit www.wonderwarehouse.com.