Lots of hellos and goodbyes from stores at Fashion Fair mall lately: A new comic and game store is open, the Gap prepares to close, and Macy’s tests out a Best Buy store on its lower level.
The store has just barely opened and is still filling out its shelves. It’s the same Legends that has stores in Cupertino and Capitola.
It’s “geek heaven,” says owner Darrick Oyama.
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One thing that sets Legends apart from other stores in the nerd retail category is that it carries both comic books and games instead of just one or the other, Oyama says.
At Legends, you’ll find all kinds of tabletop games, including board games, trading card games and role playing games – but no video games.
The board game Catan, a 20th anniversary rebranding of the popular Settlers of Catan series, is on the shelves. So is a healthy collection of Warhammer miniatures and paints.
The comic book selection, which is still on its way, will feature new comics, as well as vintage and collectable ones.
Regular readers of a comic can sign up for a subscription service in which the store will set aside the comic for the customer so he or she doesn’t have to wade through the racks.
You’ll also find “Walking Dead” action figures and a Captain America shield.
A gaming area in the back is set up with tables for special events and for customers to bring in their own games to play.
Goodbye to Gap
The Gap store and Gap Kids at Fashion Fair will close Jan. 26.
It’s the only Gap store in the Fresno area (although the Gap Factory store at the Tulare Outlets will remain open).
The store has already started discounting, with most clothing marked down 30 percent to 40 percent last week.
This is likely part of the 175 stores the clothing chain announced back in June that it planned to close. The company has struggled with slipping sales recently (although the closures don’t affect other stores Gap Inc. owns, including Old Navy and Banana Republic).
Sidenote: Fresno is home to a huge Gap Inc. distribution center near the Fresno Yosemite International Airport. Hundreds of people work for the company here, but in an odd twist, the city will no longer have a Gap store from which to buy Gap clothes.
Best Buy at Macy’s
Macy’s at Fashion Fair is one of 10 stores nationwide that is testing a mini Best Buy/Samsung store.
The store-within-a-store, which opened in November, is in a quiet corner of the lower level next to the luggage.
The small store – they average 300 square feet – is essentially one counter and a wall display of products staffed by one Best Buy employee.
10number of Macy’s stores nationwide, including Fresno, testing an in-house Best Buy/Samsung store.
It sells only the Samsung brand of electronics, including Galaxy phones, tablets and a smartwatch. It also carries accessories, including a Cole Haan phone cover and a bejeweled phone case priced at $79.99.
If you’re the type to get overwhelmed by the crowds at the main Best Buy store in River Park, the lower level of Macy’s is a much quieter option (although with a much smaller selection of products).
It’s not clear how long the test will last or if the store will stick around, but Macy’s says it will be there after the holidays.
For the record, the Best Buy Mobile store at Fashion Fair near the food court is still open, too.
The difference is that Best Buy Mobile – which is smaller than the big River Park Best Buy store but bigger than the one in Macy’s – carries more of everything than the one in Macy’s. That means its has more brands than just Samsung, such as Apple iPhones, GoPro cameras, Verizon LG tablets, Sony headphones and lots of accessories – but no giant TVs or computers.