DES MOINES, Iowa- A brand new RAYGUN store will open in Des Moines' East Village on Friday. Owner Mike Draper said he has spent 18 months working on the new space. The old store was 2800 square feet, the new store is 7000 total square feet. Two other businesses are also at the 505 East Grand location, Thelma's Treats and Mars Hill Cafe.
Owner Mike Draper said the new store will enable RAYGUN to display more of their original t-shirt designs. In the past he said they were able to show much of their stuff at their larger stores in Kansas City and Iowa City, as well as on line. Now they can show new designs in Des Moines, and also sell third-party clothing.
"The goal was to eventually expand our footprint in Des Moines," said Draper. The plan was to be able to make more stuff and offer more products.
At one point the Draper had the thought of locating outside of East Village, but soon realized East Village was the only place he could be with this store.
"So many great businesses added to this one three block area," said Draper. "We've not only expanded our traffic, but we've grown off other businesses. Draper credits those other businesses for bringing people into his store.
Draper noted much of the development that has been going on included four buildings at once. The location of his new store had been a flat surface parking lot for 45 years.
"The next ten years will be even more impressive than the last ten years," said Draper