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Mervyns to close 26 stores

August 14, 2008|Tiffany Hsu | Times Staff Writer

The Mervyns department store chain said Wednesday that it planned to close nearly 15% of its stores -- including seven in Southern California -- as it attempted to rework its finances two weeks after filing for bankruptcy protection.

The company will shutter 26 of its 176 mid-priced locations in California, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Texas by late October or early November.

In Southern California, the earmarked stores are in Canoga Park, Foothill Ranch, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Palm Desert and Thousand Oaks. Four in Northern California also will be shut.

The company, based in Hayward, Calif., is not closing any stores in New Mexico and Utah, where it also operates.

"While the decision to close this group of underperforming stores was not easy, we believe this is a necessary step in our process to emerge from bankruptcy as a stronger company, better positioned to compete in the retail industry," said John Goodman, Mervyns' chief executive.

With its July 29 bankruptcy filing, the company joined a growing group of mid-tier retail peers struggling as consumers curtailed spending and fled toward discount stores during the current economic malaise.

Mervyns said 2,340 to 3,120 jobs -- about 90 to 120 at each closed store -- would be eliminated.

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tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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