(NOTE: Nick in the Morning will not be ringing in the new year Tuesday, at least not in this space. Keep it happy and safe tonight, and we'll plan to greet you and 2019 first thing Wednesday.)
Good morning, troops. It's Monday, Dec. 31.
As people all over the world prepare to ring out the old and ring in the new, a national retailer is preparing to ring down the metaphorical curtain on its Peoria outlet.
The Burlington store in the Willow Knolls Court shopping center is closing for good. A Nick in the Morning co-conspirator noticed a "This store is closing" sign Sunday night in the door of the business at 4100 W. Willow Knolls Drive.
A woman who answered the telephone Monday morning at Burlington in Peoria said the store probably will remain open for the next few weeks, until remaining merchandise is gone.
Business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days, with half-hour later closings on Fridays and Saturdays and a half-hour earlier closing on Sundays.
Messages have been left for representatives of Burlington and of Schottenstein Property Group, the Ohio-based firm that owns and operates Willow Knolls Court.
The store is known commonly as Burlington Coat Factory, although that hasn't been its official name in a while.
New Jersey-based Burlington operates almost 700 stores, located in 45 states and Puerto Rico. A story last week stated the company intended to close or relocate 22 stores in fiscal year 2018.
The store gained its reputation on selling coats and jackets but has expanded into more typical department-store offerings, including other clothing, jewelry and fragrances.
The Burlington store in Peoria occupies about 70,000 square feet, according to Schottenstein. It's considered one of the anchors of the shopping center, which has about 20 businesses on its grounds.
Our memory isn't the greatest, but we seem to recall Burlington Coat Factory being located previously on University Street near War Memorial Drive, where the Golden Corral restaurant now stands. Peoria old-timers also might remember that site as playing host to an Ardan catalog-outlet store.
These are trying times for many brick-and-mortar retail outlets, as they attempt to survive and thrive in an internet world. Peoria has seen its share of paring, including the closing of the legendary Bergner's department-store chain.
But some new businesses and repurposing of old retail space have taken root, too. Witness the conversion of the old Macy's store at Northwoods Mall into a bowling-food-entertainment emporium and a furniture store.
Nick in the Morning also hears some regionally and nationally known retailers might be coming to town soon. Watch this space for updates.
In the meanwhile, it probably is worth a visit to the Burlington store, to check the closeout bargains. Enjoy one of the few songs we could find that included "coat" in their titles, although it could use an "of," in our estimation.