Negative Effects of Mervyn's Closing Hits Other Stores

October 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mervyn's announced Friday that its closing all of its 149 stores, including 11 in the Valley. That could have a trickledown effect changing the business landscape in every neighborhood.Shoppers we spoke to in Visalia said when Mervyn's closes they probably won't even visit the mall where it used to be.

The deals at Mervyn's are great, 50% to 70% off. But these offers won't last long especially when Mervyn's is closing all of its stores due to the weak economy. That's upsetting news to the Mervyn's faithful in Visalia.

Stancie Kinser said, "I think it's sad. I think it's going to be hard on people to find good clothes."

Santa Lopez said, "Great for us. Too bad for them."

But the news of Mervyn's closing at the Sequoia mall has set off another concern. Mervyn's is considered an anchor to this mall so all the foot traffic that comes through will cease and that could spell serious trouble for the stores along this path.

There are half a dozen empty stores near Mervyn's; except Mode Five. Shoppers to this store worry it too will fall in the wake of Mervyn's closing.

Mejay Mejia: "I wouldn't come here because I go to Mervyn's and Sears so what's the point?!"

Gabriella Mendoza said, "Sad. I would have to drive all the way to Fresno or Bakersfield."

Bryan Moe, the director of the Central California Small Business Development Center, calls this the 'domino effect.' "They're going to have less revenue. Then one store closes then the next store closes and that's just a concern," said Moe.

Moe predicts Mervyn's will not be the last big store to close its doors permanently. "Sometimes when the economy goes bad you get this slippery slope effect. In other words people think it's going to be bad so they figure if this is going to happen 'I'm not going to go shopping. I'm not going to spend my money,'" said Moe.

Mervyn's hasn't announced when it will officially close. There is talk owners want to hold off until after the holidays hoping sales will help offset some of their expenses.

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