Can retail be rescued? Why so many U.S. stores are closing
Fresno is losing four more stores.
Going-out-of-business sales started this week at a range of retailers, from two national chains to smaller, locally owned places. Three of the closures are in Fig Garden Village.
Last month, The Bee reported on 32 stores and restaurants that closed throughout 2018. Barely halfway through January, and a new list is growing.
The closure that’s not in Fig Garden is Gymboree. The company is closing all its Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores, though it’s trying to sell its Janie and Jack stores to keep them alive. All three stores sell children’s clothing.
Gymboree has stores at Fashion Fair mall in Fresno, Visalia Mall and the Tulare Outlets. The Crazy 8 store in River Park closed a while back.
Gymboree filed for bankruptcy for the second time since 2017 and announced the closures this week. Like other big retailers, declines in mall traffic hurt the business.
Anne’s Hallmark is closing its Fig Garden Village location.
The two other Anne’s Hallmark stores will remain open. They are in the Villaggio shopping center near Barnes & Noble in Fresno, and near Vons at Fowler and Herndon avenues in Clovis.
A supervisor did not immediately return a phone message about why the store is closing.
A going-out-of-business sale has already started at the Fig Garden location, with items 40 percent off. An exact closure date was not available, but the store will be open at least until Jan. 28.
We Olive, the little shop in Fig Garden selling olive oil, balsamic vinegar and other foodie items, is closing at the end of the month.
The store is a franchise, but is locally owned by Wayne and Zona Rogers. They’ve run the store for 12 and a half years.
“At our age, we didn’t want to sign another five-year lease and the internet sales have drastically hurt our business,” Zona Rogers said.
They announced the closure on Facebook and thanked their customers.
Closures in Fig Garden Village always get special attention as several tenants – like Uncle Harry’s, Viva La Vault (now called Viva Boutique) and Top Drawer – have closed or moved and were unhappy about it.
But that had nothing to do with why We Olive is closing, she said.
“Fig Garden was very nice to us,” she said.
Phone calls and emails to Fig Garden Village’s parent company in New York and a phone call to the shopping center’s local office about the closures were not immediately returned.
Sales have been slipping at the national retailer for the past three years. It is quietly closing stores around the country, though it has not said how many. In 2017, J. Crew announced it would close 39 stores and ended up closing even more.
J. Crew’s sister store in Fig Garden, Madewell, will remain open. Sales are climbing at that chain of stores.
Despite the closures, Fig Garden Village has had several openings recently, including Reinvent Juicery and luring Anthropologie away from Fashion Fair. Bakery La Boulangerie is expanding, removing a wall and taking over the space next door, in addition to opening up a walk-up window downtown. Restaurant Cowboy Chicken is scheduled to open this year.