Plan commission to review proposal early next month


Duluth Trading Company, a Wisconsin-based retailer known for rugged clothing and cheeky commercials, could soon open a store in Waukesha.

The Belleville-based business, just south of Madison, has filed plans to open a roughly 15,500-square-foot store at 2320 W. Bluemound Road, essentially next to The Home Depot and across from Menards, among the biggest big-box stores in Waukesha, on the city's northeast side.

The Waukesha Plan Commission is scheduled to review the plans at its Feb. 8 meeting, according to the commission's meeting agenda.

Duluth sells casual clothing and work wear as well as accessories and some gadgets, mainly via catalog and its website, but also in a growing number of brick-and-mortar stores. The company has become well-known for embracing a humorous marketing strategy, offering products such as "Longtail Ts" – which offer extra coverage to conceal "plumber's butt" – and "Ballroom Jeans," which promise to cure "crouchstrophobia," the fear of kneeling in ill-fitting denim.

RELATED: Duluth Trading Co., e-retailer, takes a crack at storefront

According to the company website, there are currently 16 Duluth stores operating in nine states with at least two new stores – in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Noblesville, Indiana – expected to open soon.

The company, according to previous media reports, has undergone significant growth in recent years. Consequently, Duluth said last year that it envisions as many as 100 stores across the country.

Duluth started in 1989 selling canvas tool organizers for construction workers. It went public in November 2015. The company's first brick-and-mortar store opened in Mount Horeb in 2010.

According to planning documents, Oppidan Investment Company, based in Excelsior, Minnesota, is the owner and developer of the Waukesha project. Oppidan has developed Duluth Trading Co. stores in Independence, Missouri, Noblesville, and (appropriately enough) Duluth, Minnesota, according to its website.

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