Several women's clothing chains deciding to leave Fresno

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Ann Taylor isn't the only recent closure in Fresno. (KFSN)

The bare mannequins at Ann Taylor are all lined up, missing the clothes that once hung on them. Later this month the remaining unsold items will be boxed up and sent to other locations.

Marketing professor Bill Rice said many retailers come to Fresno without really studying the population.

"The issue here is you really have to understand the market, and what are you offering, what your price range is? What is the element of the people who are going to buy from you? What are their needs, what are their thinking processes? And we still think like Topeka Kansas, I hate to say it but it's true."

The marketing expert said although many wealthy people live in the Central Valley, they are still holding onto their disposable income in case of an unforeseen emergency.

Professor Rice said many local farmers who have money are being more selective about what they spend it on, especially due to recent drought concerns.

In addition, Rice believes many locals with deep pockets also prefer to shop in bigger cities with more variety.

A combination of factors-- including rent increases and unmet sales goals are also taken into consideration when retail stores leave a city.

Ann Taylor isn't the only recent closure in Fresno.

At Fashion Fair, The Limited has been vacated and what once was Macy's Woman has already been replaced by a new store.

"Fashion Fair has seen this continuous open close door issue because the people that come in think that this market, because we have a half a million people here that are going to be just like San Jose or whatever. That's not true," said Rice.

Ann Taylor made its debut in Fig Garden Village, before closing in 2009 and later moving to North Fresno.

River Park officials issued a statement to Action News saying, "Our goal is to stay fresh and current with what the people of Fresno want here, over time that changes and we must too."

What stores will be replacing those leaving is still under wraps.
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