Downtown Spartanburg’s Imagination Station will relaunch March 1 under new ownership

Landrum entrepreneur Lena McCall has purchased Imagination Station at 180 E. Main St. in downtown Spartanburg from its longtime owner Mark Slotin and is in the process of refreshing the store with a new look and expanded merchandise.

Imagination Station has been a part of downtown Spartanburg's retail mix for about 10 years.

Downtown Spartanburg’s only toy store is being refreshed under new ownership.

Landrum entrepreneur Lena McCall has purchased Imagination Station at 180 E. Main St. across from Denny’s Plaza from its longtime owner Mark Slotin, who has retired.

Slotin, in partnership with his business partners Rex and Alane Russell, moved the store to its 2,200-square-foot downtown space about 10 years ago after spending the previous two decades at Hillcrest Shopping Center.

McCall, originally of Boiling Springs, owns Imagination Station II in downtown Landrum, which she opened two years ago with her daughters, Rokel Mercado and Brittney Burdette.

Rokel Mercado works inside Imagination Station on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

With help from the Russells and her daughters, McCall has shuttered the downtown Spartanburg location in order to revamp the store with new lighting, a new layout, and expanded merchandise.

McCall said the store will reopen March 1.

Imagination Station’s storefront windows on Wednesday, Feb. 7, were covered with a plastic drop cloth, and a sign on the front door informed shoppers that the store was “closed for renovations.”

“We’re really excited about this,” McCall said. “Everyone knew Mark. I think he was ready to pass the torch. We are ready to get this place revamped and to put some new life and energy back into it.”

McCall said the store’s business had remained steady despite online shopping’s growing negative impact on brick-and-mortar retail establishments across the country.

“People have been coming here for generations,” she said. “We still have a lot of customers who would rather put their hands on something before they buy it.”

McCall said she became interested in owning a toy store after she and her husband moved to Landrum.

“It really started with my grandkids,” she said. “Everywhere we’d go, I’d take them to specialty toy stores. I started thinking about it and realized that there was nothing like it in Landrum.”

McCall has placed a sign on the toy store’s front door in order to keep passersby informed.

Imagination Station’s owner said she is encouraged by residential and commercial growth in downtown Spartanburg during the past few years.

“We certainly think that bodes well for our future here,” McCall said. “These are exciting times, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

McCall said she plans to host a grand reopening of the store on a date yet to be determined.

The store will most likely operate from 10 a.m. to 5 or 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.


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