Wear Forward and Milo’s to Open in Historic Larkin’s Building

Big changes are on the horizon for the local consignment scene as two beloved stores, Wear Forward and Milo’s, are set to merge and move into the historic Larkin’s building. This development promises to offer a unique and comprehensive shopping experience under one roof.

Tori Runstrom, owner of both stores, aims to create a shopping destination that caters to all ages. “We’re thrilled to announce that Wear Forward and Milo’s will soon be coming together in the beautiful, historic Larkin’s building downtown,” she says. “This merger is about more than just expanding our business; it’s about creating a unique shopping destination that is inclusive and serves the entire community.”

The move, still a few months away, is pending a final lease agreement, but a verbal agreement is already in place. The Larkin’s building, a cherished landmark in Lowell, is currently undergoing renovations to enhance its charm and functionality for modern retail use.

Change of Plans for Larkin’s Building

When Brent Slagell purchased the Larkin’s Restaurant building in early 2023, he had hoped to open an Italian restaurant there. However, the Lowell dining scene has changed a lot in the past year with the opening of Los Portales and Easy Street in the historic downtown and Bobbie Sue’s Roadhouse planned down the street in Lowell Township.

“There’s a lot of places to eat in Lowell right now,” Slagell says. “It’s a tough business,” and he worries the local market might be saturated.

Shifting gears to retail space was fortuitous for Runstrom, who’s popular consignment shops have been fast outgrowing their current space.

In addition to housing Wear Forward and Milo’s, Slagell says the former Larkin’s building will include four apartments on the second floor — three one-bedroom apartments and one studio apartment. An addition to the building near The Old Theater will be removed to make room for parking. Slagell expects the plans to be before the Planning Commission for approval in July.

“Moving into such a storied building aligns perfectly with our vision,” Runstrom explains. “It’s not just about finding a larger space; it’s about preserving the character and history of our town while offering our customers a fresh and engaging shopping experience.”

More Space, Wider Selection

The new store will feature dedicated sections for men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, combining the best of Wear Forward and Milo’s. This unified store will provide an even wider selection of high-quality consignment items, making it easier for customers to find exactly what they need.

In addition to enhancing the shopping experience, the merger will emphasize the environmental benefits of consignment shopping. By choosing to buy and sell gently used clothing, the community can contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry. The new store will continue promoting eco-friendly shopping habits, encouraging more people to embrace this environmentally conscious approach.

Runstrom also expresses her gratitude to those who have been instrumental in making the dream of these businesses a reality. “I want to thank our staff, especially our long-term employees who have stuck with us; they have been a huge help,” she says with heartfelt appreciation. “My husband Chris has been incredible—this year he quit his job and went full-on managing Milo’s. And, of course, our parents have been amazing, helping us with the care of our child, Milo, and so much more. These people have all made this possible.”

“Our customers have always been the heart of our business,” Runstrom continues. “Their support and enthusiasm inspire us every day. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to our new space and continue providing the quality and service they have come to expect from Wear Forward and Milo’s.”

Stay tuned for more updates as Wear Forward and Milo’s prepare to open their doors in the newly renovated Larkin’s building. This merger promises to bring a fresh, dynamic shopping experience to the community, blending the best of both stores while honoring the rich history of our beloved town.

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