Two well-known American brands, Macy’s and Sears have announced closure plans that will darken stores and cut jobs across the country.
Despite nationwide cuts, Visalia’s Macys, Sears and Kmart locations will stay open. Macys had previously announced plans to close 100 stores, and yesterday’s announcement adds 68 stores to that list. Meanwhile, Sears, which owns Kmart, will close a combined 150 locations across the United States.
“Macy’s, Sears, and Kmart are unfortunately looking at declining sales in many parts of the nation,” says Devon Jones, City of Visalia Economic Development Manager. “Fortunately, their stores here in Visalia are not on their current closure list. Visalia is the regional retail location for the area between Bakersfield and Fresno, meaning families from throughout this region will come to Visalia to make many of their major purchases.”
Visalia offers amenities that other Central Valley cities don’t have. With various dining options, including Mooney Boulevard and downtown, families come not just to shop, but to eat. Seen by many as family entertainment, dinner out can just as easily turn into a shopping trip, further strengthening Visalia as a regional retail destination. A destination that will still include Sears, Kmart, and Macy’s.
“The Visalia Macy’s location continues to be a growth store for Macy’s,” shares Richard Feder, Visalia Mall General Manager. “Since the store opened in 2009, sales have been consistently strong and there are departments that are still growing.”
Adds Jones, “People in our community still like to ‘buy local’. Online sales have hit us economically, but many people still like to walk into a store, shop, and leave with goods. In many parts of the country, that behavior is changing more rapidly.”
Due to a lower cost of goods within the region and the absence of major deterrents found in larger metropolitan retail areas like congested traffic, large crowds, and long lines, Visalia is a smaller community where shopping has retained an element of social activity.
“In a sense, Visalia is sized just right to attract major retailers while also maintaining a quality experience for the shopper,” says Jones. “We look forward to continued growth and the future success of these retailers.”