New La Crescent store, sale of Shopko building in the news

A new store in downtown La Crescent, the sale of the former Shopko building in the South Side of La Crosse and the upcoming closing of the AmeriDown Factory Outlet are some highlights of this week’s local business news.

Seven years after starting her engravings and graphic apparel business in her home and selling online, Kayla Stanton has opened her Johnson Livings LLC store at 111 S. Walnut St., Suite D, in downtown La Crescent.

The store that she opened in September sells items that Stanton has engraved — such as Christmas ornaments, cutting boards and drinkware — as well as apparel such as sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats.

The store also sells handmade items from 25 consignors who live within a one-hour drive of La Crescent, such as home decor, candles, jewelry, soaps, bowls and pottery. Stanton also sells food items such as popcorn, barbecue sauces, hot sauces and hot cocoa mixes.

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One room in the store has hair accessories and women’s apparel that are sold by Stanton’s friend, Allie Benish, owner of Current Clothing Co. and A Blonde and Bobbin. Benish makes the hair accessories.

Johnson Livings owner, Kayla Stanton, and Current Clothing Co. owner, Allie Benish opened a storefront at 111 S. Walnut St. in La Crescent. Johnson Livings offers a wide variety of mostly locally handmade items.

Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune

Johnson Living's

Current Clothing Co. sells women’s apparel and accessories out of a room inside Johnson Livings.

Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune

Stanton and Benish organized the first Great River Makers Market (which featured handmade items from throughout the Coulee Region) in July at the La Crescent Area Event Center, and are organizing the second one, which will be from 9 am to 3 pm Dec. 10 at the center.

The store’s holiday hours, which are in effect through the end of the year, are 10 am to 5:30 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 9 am to 2 pm Saturday and closed Sunday. For more information, call Stanton at 608-780-8604 or visit or Facebook.

One of local businessman Allan McCormick’s corporations has purchased the former Shopko department store building at 4344 Mormon Coulee Road, on the far South Side of La Crosse.

I’m hearing that McCormick plans to redevelop the building into spaces for multiple businesses. McCormick wasn’t available for comment last week.

The building has been vacant since 2019, when the Shopko chain filed for bankruptcy and closed all of its remaining stores.

county records show that 2809 Losey Blvd. LLC purchased the former Shopko property in late October for $3.5 million.

McCormick is probably best known in the area as the owner of La Crosse Technology at 2809 S. Losey Blvd. That company’s Facebook page describes the business as an industry leader in atomic clocks, weather stations and monitoring systems.

Dec. 4 will be the last day for the AmeriDown Factory Outlet store near the La Crosse Regional Airport. A store-closing sale is underway.

The outlet store has been in part of the American Down & Textile, LLC factory building at 2929 Airport Road since August 2021. It moved there from 301 Sky Harbor Drive on French Island.

The store sells comforters, pillows and mattress pads that are produced at the American Down & Textile factory, said Michelle Wilcox, director of operations for Hanover Direct Inc., which owns American Down & Textile and the AmeriDown store. The store also carries an array of sheeting, blankets, towels, shower curtains and other accessories.

The La Crosse store is closing permanently, Wilcox said. The two other AmeriDown outlet stores that Hanover Direct owned closed in January in Madison and in May in Kittery, Maine.

The La Crosse store has one full-time employee and three part-time employees, and they will be laid off, Wilcox said.

“The store location is closing, but our online presence will continue on our AmeriDown website,,” she said. She also said that “The factory will continue to produce and support our Scandia Home brand” of products.

The outlet store’s hours are 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 pm Sunday. For more information, call the store at 608-791-5876 or visit or Facebook.

Franklin Coffeehouse opened Monday in its new location, the former Meraki Cafe & Curio Shoppe at 119 N. Water St. in downtown Sparta. The Meraki cafe closed in April.

Franklin Coffeehouse serves a variety of coffee beverages, as well as tea, smoothies, breakfast and baked goods. It opened in 2018 at its previous location at 110 E. Franklin St. in Sparta.

For more information, visit the coffee shop’s Facebook page.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at


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