Fayetteville-based Acumen Brands will soon open flagship stores for two of its most popular e-commerce sites inside the Old Post Office, breathing life back into a building that has sat vacant for nearly five years in the middle of the downtown square.
The company, which operates the wildly popular Country Outfitter online western wear store, has leased the building from new owner Jim Huson, and plans to open brick-and-mortar locations for both Country Outfitter and a new handbag concept store called Maple & West.
“It’s an honor to open our flagship store in historic downtown Fayetteville,” said John James, CEO for Acumen. “The square is one of my favorite places in all of Northwest Arkansas, and the Old Post Office is my second favorite building next to Old Main.”
Acumen was founded by James, a family practice physician who gave up his career in medicine to pursue his love of entrepreneurship, and former Thompson Murray (now Saatchi & Saatchi X) executive Terry Turpin. In addition to Country Outfitter and Maple & West, the company also operates a work wear company called Toughweld and a hospital scrub company called Scrub Shopper out of its large fulfillment facility on Gregg Avenue.
Country Outfitter has built a Facebook following of over 7 million Likes in the past 13 months on the three pages they operate, and is believed to have grown their fan base faster than any other retailer in the history of the social media site.
Acumen last month was featured by Google as one of the principal drivers of economic development in Arkansas, something James said he wants to continue.
“We want to create a one billion-dollar business,” he told Google. “We want to create something that is of significance for Arkansas. We want to create something that is a shining light to the community.”
James said he wasn’t sure exactly when the new stores will be open inside the OPO, but that work on the building would begin immediately with plans to open as soon as possible.