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Need a Little Retail Therapy? Find It in Kearney

Spend the day shopping in Kearney, where you'll discover something for everyone.

By Kelly Rogers on December 28, 2022

Downtown Kearney is a great location for shopping, dining and more.
Kirstina Kouma

From boutiques and specialty stores on downtown’s Central Avenue to the dependable options at Hilltop Mall and everything in between, a day of shopping in Kearney means you’ll enjoy a rich supply of retail therapy to peruse.

Strolling downtown, it’s impossible to miss the vibrant small businesses and unique boutiques. If you’re looking for a cute, chic outfit, stop in at Bow and Arrow Boutique. Or, if you’re needing something fancier, you can’t go wrong with Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formal Wear.

If unique home goods and gifts pique your fancy, definitely wander through Home Within, and see what you can uncover in the wide selection of decor pieces. Consider stopping by Sayler Screenprinting, where the self-proclaimed “shirt nerds” can help outfit you with customized shirts and apparel.

One must-visit spot is Suite Child Boutique, an adorable baby and children’s boutique that stocks all the trendy, stylish and quality items a parent could need. A common phrase uttered by customers when they stroll into the store is, “It’s like walking into Instagram,” shares Suite Child’s owner, Jamie Frerichs.

The shopping experience at Suite Child is special – for one thing, there’s a snack bar (score!), not to mention a playroom for kids, a Mother’s Room for privacy and comfort, clean diaper-changing Kearney’s thriving tables and various product demonstrations throughout the store.

“For years, we’ve heard from customers traveling to or through Kearney to visit Suite Child that there is no other store like this,” Frerichs says. “It’s our mission to celebrate and simplify the journey of growing families, and we’re open and honest about the beauty and imperfection that comes with parenthood.”

In a city like Kearney that’s so family-centered, Suite Child fits the retail environment like a glove. Or a cute, tiny baby sock.

Hilltop Mall Is Hoppin’

Kearney’s own Hilltop Mall is bucking the nationwide trend of malls on the decline. In fact, quite the opposite is true: Hilltop remains a popular shopping destination for Kearney residents. There are 32 stores on the property, with a healthy mix of national, regional and local tenants.

So, what sets Hilltop Mall apart from others?

“We’re known for our family atmosphere and ownership,” says Jeni Leversee, marketing director. “Our owners are dedicated to the mall, its tenants and the community and are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the trends and add new tenants – even going as far as to redevelop the bays inside the mall to get better storefronts.”

One new exciting development in the works: Buckle, which was founded in Kearney, is relocating to a different corner in the mall and unveiling an exciting new look.

GROW Nebraska in Kearney
Amanda Miller

State Pride at Its Finest

Kearney is also home to Buy Nebraska, the storefront for nonprofit GROW Nebraska that offers a variety of goods from makers, producers and creators across the state. Part of GROW Nebraska’s mission is to promote awareness of Nebraska entrepreneurs and their products and services.

In 2003, GROW Nebraska started opening pop-up shops around the holidays to give local residents a chance to support entrepreneurs from their home state. Thanks to the project’s success, a permanent Buy Nebraska location was opened in Kearney.

“We love being in Kearney because it’s a wonderful community that’s very supportive of buying local,” says Janell Anderson Ehrke, CEO of GROW Nebraska. “We opened the store to have data to show the products would sell, which is good for new entrepreneurs and startup businesses so we can get consumer feedback.”

Kearney Area Farmers Market in Nebraska
Kearney Area Farmers Market

Farmers Market Fresh

No overview of Kearney’s retail scene would be complete without including the Kearney Area Farmers Market, which is actually located in the parking lot of the Hilltop Mall. Featuring nearly 50 local vendors, this market has been a staple in Kearney since the ’70s and prides itself on providing quality, fresh produce and food products.

The Kearney Area Farmers Market is open from May through October from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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