Mervyn's is gone... December 27th marked the day as Mervyn's last, closing all remaining stores that didn't close a month earlier from a previous round of store closings.
The final sales event was markedly mixed. Consumers reported that some prices were raised in order to present a 25% of markdown, in turn selling items higher than what Mervyn's originally had charged. Of course, the last 10 minutes of store closings was marked with 10 items for a dollar.
Not all hope is lost...
The San Francisco Business Times (December 12, 2008) reported that Kohl's and Forever 21 have acquired 12 former Mervyn's locations to expand their businesses. For local malls affected, Kohl's will replace Mervyn's at The Mall at Northgate in San Rafael, Southland Mall in Hayward, and Capitola Mall in Capitola (San Francisco Business Times). Forever 21 will be opening a super-sized store concept at the former Mervyn's at Northridge Mall in Salinas (San Francisco Business Times). That just leaves vacant anchor stores at Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, Westfield Solano Mall in Fairfield, NewPark Mall in Newark, Somersville Towne Center in Antioch, and Princeton Plaza Mall in San Jose. Late in 2008, Mervyn's departed Alameda Towne Centre in Alameda, also to be replaced by Kohl's.
NewPark Mall expressed interest in replacing Mervyn's with a movie theatre and entertainment complex, but those plans have stalled with owner General Growth Properties verging on bankruptcy.
Malls with empty anchors often struggle. A recent visit to NewPark Mall showed the former Mervyn's end of the mall dying out. Westfield Solano Mall and Somersville Towne Center may also show struggles. Princeton Plaza Mall may have serious consequences since that was the tiny mall's only large anchor. Hillsdale Mall has other strong anchors and may not show much of a decline. The question remains, what can and will eventually replace these empty spaces? Not to mention, a glut of available retail with the departure of many Circuit City stores, all Linen's N Things, Kay Bee Toys, Crescent Jewellers, Whitehall Jewellers, and others, and we are looking at a bad mall year. However, these things are cyclical. What goes down, must eventually go up.
San Francisco Business Times (December 12, 2008). Kohl’s, Forever 21 acquire Mervyns locations, including Hayward store. Retrieved January 4, 2009, from http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2008/12/08/daily100.html?f=et78&ana=e_du