Press

September 07 , 2005

Mervyn's to close 62 stores

Mervyn's to close 62 stores

September 7th, 2005 - Sandra Zaragoza Staff Writer California-based Mervyn's L.L.C., the struggling department store chain, said it will close 62 stores, about half of those in Texas. Mervyn's said Wednesday that 28 out of its 40 stores in Texas will close, including all 11 North Texas locations. The company said it is closing underperforming locations that "do not contribute to the company's success." The closings will mean the loss of 4,800 of jobs for Mervyn's employees, about 1,200 are full-time employees and 3,600 are part-time employees. In Texas, 2,259 employees will lose their jobs. The company said 654 full-time employees and 1,605 part-time employees in the state will be affected. The stores should all be closed by February 2006, according to a news release from Mervyn's. In addition to closing 28 stores in Texas, the company will also close a 575,000-square-foot distribution center in Plano, north of Dallas, and one in Utah. Mervyn's has been a retail fixture in the Texas market since 1981. The 28-unit portfolio represents almost 2.5 million square feet of retail space in Texas. All North Texas Mervyn's stores will be closed. Mervyn's has locations in Arlington, Denton, Fort Worth and Plano, among other Dallas-Fort Worth cities. The company will continue to operate 12 Mervyn's locations in South and West Texas including Harlingen, Mc Allen, El Paso and San Antonio. "We're making some difficult, but necessary changes that will enable us to concentrate our resources on Mervyns' core markets and make investments that allow us to better serve our customers," said Beryl Buley, executive vice president of retail operations for Mervyn's. Mervyn's also will be exiting Michigan and Oklahoma and plans to close some stores in Colorado and Louisiana. The company is closing about 25 percent of its stores that account for approximately 17 percent of its total sales. After the closings, the retailer will operate 193 locations in the West and Southwest United States. The Retail Connection, a real estate brokerage firm based in Dallas, is handling the disposition of the Texas stores. The first phase of the disposition will focus on leasing the property, according to Steve Lieberman, CEO of The Retail Connection. The average Mervyn's location is 80,000 square feet. In Texas, Mervyn's stores represent strip shopping center space, free-standing buildings and mall anchors. "This surplus property creates a unique opportunity for other retail chains to quickly penetrate and establish new markets or shore up their control of existing bases of operation, as such, these locations represent very attractive opportunities for growing chains," Lieberman said.