Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mervyn's Stores Leave Tulsa

According to Mervyn's press release from last September, "As a part of a strategy to become a stronger and more profitable company and better serve customers in its core markets, Mervyns announced today that it is closing 62 underperforming stores that do not contribute to the Company's success. Closing stores that create a significant drain on the Company's overall profitability will allow Mervyns to invest in and focus on its stores and infrastructure in the West and Southwest making them more competitive than ever."

Well, they're gone. Woodland Hills Mall and The Promenade will probably quickly secure new tenants for their available spaces. The departure of Mervyns from Eastland Mall leaves Dillards as the last anchor remaining. Dillards actually owns their portion of the mall, so the recent sale of the mall to NSC New Market Real Estate of Atlanta did not include that building. I don't know what Dillards has planned. I guess a lot of it will depend on what the new buyer's plans are for the empty shopping center. I've heard everything from office complex to Hispanic retail shopping mall to outlet mall to big hulking mass of concrete and steel (hey, it knows that role well). I'd really like to see a reliable source stating what NSC's development plans are. Unfortunately, they have little presence on the web, so I've been unable to find any additional info. I did find this 1/3/06 article from The Journal Record in Oklahoma City. [Tulsa's Eastland Mall's future uncertain after sale]

It's disappointing to see a large retail chain pull it's tax dollars away from a town, but I'm impressed that Mervyn's had the business sense to retreat and downsize to their core market, in order to remain a healthy corporation. I guess everyone feels the pinch in today's WalMart economy, particularly department stores. Sears Holding Corporation (Kmart+Sears=SHLD) aren't exactly doing that great either and JC Penny is learning that they can be nearly as profitable online as with brick and mortar storefronts.

I've added 6 additional pics to the end of my Eastland Mall 2 photoset. They show the front of the Eastland Mervyns after they removed the signage earlier today as well as a couple more interior shots. I'll try to get shots of Woodland Hills and Promenade this weekend.

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