NAO moving to Mendenhall Mall

A major tenant of the Nugget Mall is moving north to Mendenhall Mall after 25 years at that location.

The managing partner of Nugget Alaskan Outfitters (NAO) announced Thursday that the store will fill the space formerly occupied by J.C. Penny and Gottschalks by the end of September.

Ron Flint said the lease is signed and he is excited about the move, partly because the new site has more square footage, taking NAO from its current 11,000 square feet to more than 15,000. Flint said the bigger area allows more expanded retail space and more efficient storage.

The new site also has an external entrance. Currently customers have to enter Nugget Mall to access the store.

Then there’s the old real estate adage: Location, location, location.

“We’re going to be a little closer to where the people are,” Flint said.

Flint’s family has a long history in Juneau’s retail world. The recent press release notes that Ron Flint is the son of the late Bill Flint, who started at the Behrends Department Store in the mid 1950’s, becoming its general manager within a couple of years. After leaving Behrends, he and his late wife Donna, and some investors, opened the Nugget Department Store in 1974. “In 1987, when Lamonts entered the local market, all departments were closed out except the men’s department, which was wheeled down the hallway and opened a few days later as The Nugget Men’s Store,” the release states. Over the years, the business developed into its current incarnation — an outdoor-oriented shop with goods for a variety of outdoor sports and activities.

Ron Flint sounds optimistic about the move.

“Thanks to the groundwork he (Bill Flint) laid, our solid product line and, of course, our great staff, NAO has thrived,” said Flint. “I’m looking forward to the next chapter — moving to a larger space and being able to provide a wider assortment of product for our loyal Juneau and Southeast Alaska customers.”

Contact Managing Editor John R. Moses at 523-2265 or at john.moses@juneauempire.com.

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