Going, going, gone

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I have sad news to report. Some retail establishments are closing.

You know I hate to see a good store go. Two of these closings were a total surprise. Fashion Bug is going belly up. There is one close to my house and I hate to see empty storefronts. Not that I was a Fashion Bug shopper, but I guess somebody shopped there. I like for people to have options.

DebbieNorrellBox

“Fashion Bug has been a disaster for years,” said Howard Davidowitz, a New York retail consultant and investment banker. “They could never do the volume to justify the size of their stores.” Tell us how you really feel Howard.

Speaking of bugs, here is some news for all of the shutterbugs or photographers out there. Did you know that Ritz Camera is going out of business? Apparently this has been going on for a while. I don’t know how I missed that the store had filed for chapter 11 and that they are closing under-performing stores. Why are the stores that I shop in the under-performing stores? According to news reports nearly all 137 stores will be closing.

I guess so many people have camera phones now that they no longer need a separate digital camera. Sad, but true. Not that it is a store closing that I am truly disappointed about. I was on my way there to get a new camera and when I pulled up there were big signs in the window stating they we’re going out of business. Everything was marked down, but also everything was picked over. Now I guess I will have to go to a big box store for my camera. I don’t want to buy it online, I want to touch it and look at it before making this big purchase. For me buying a camera is like buying a car, you need a test drive.

And this is just it. The K-Mart in Parkway Center Mall is finally going to close in January. It is one of the only businesses left in that mall. At one time that mall was a fun place to go. I used to run up there on my lunch break from Downtown. There was a Syms there, Jezebel, a jewelry store, a food court and a lot of other stores. On my last visit there, K-Mart was the lone ranger except for the lottery kiosk. A spokeswoman for Kmart’s parent company, Sears Holding Co., says the store is closing because its lease is expiring. Kmart has been at the mall along Interstate 376—known locally as the Parkway West—since 1986. The mall’s first level has been closed for six years and its second level will now lose seven more stores as a result.

Steve Weisbrod, vice president of business development for the mall’s owner, Kossman Development Co., says the closing of the other businesses and Kmart has caused the company to explore redeveloping the mall. Please, please redevelop that mall; it is so close to Downtown. I hope that something will be done with it soon. Reportedly 54 people will lose their jobs.

(Email the columnist at deb­bienorrell@aol.com)

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