Booming Bettendorf boutiques: how specialty retailers are competing with online shopping


Morgan Miller

Senior Miranda Miller sits in front of Bettendorf’s Peaceful Style Boutique.

Morgan Miller, Copy Editor

Bettendorf retail is booming by appealing to teens with new specialty stores like the Bettplex and Spartan Square, drawing them away from online shopping. 

The Commerce Department released a report last February showing the total market share from online US retail sales, which was higher than other sales for the first time. The growing online shopping interest is very popular among teens. In fact, teens are twice as likely to shop online compared to their parents. 

Sophomore Anika Schimidts thinks both options have benefits. “[With retail shopping,] I get to try clothes on and see how they fit. However, online shopping can be fun because I can do it from my bed without having to go out,” she said.

Even though ecommerce is growing nationwide, the Bettendorf area seems to be taking a different turn. With the completion of the TBK Bettplex in 2017, many businesses have located around the hub. In addition to chain stores, like Subway and Hurts Donuts, specialty stores have also found a home there. 

Peaceful Style Boutique, on Devils Glen Road, and Red’s Threads, in the Bettplex area, are two of the local boutiques that recently opened. Students can easily take advantage of these areas with their close proximity to the high school.

Schmidts gave her opinion about boutiques, compared to other stores. “Some specialty stores are popular because kids like to find unique stuff that not many other people have, so having local boutiques feel more personalized than bigger stores,” she said.

New businesses are also developing near the high school. The new area is nicknamed “Spartan Square”, but the businesses that will be included are yet to be formally announced.

Spartan Square developer Chris Cannon is excited about the new location. “That size can accommodate a maximum of seven businesses; although, there could be fewer depending on the space needs of the tenants who are signed,” he said.

Even though nationwide trends are popularizing online shopping, especially for teenagers, there are many other options for retail shopping in the Bettendorf area. With the addition of the Bettplex and Spartan Square areas, retail stores are a booming business.