Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Problem With Mervyn's



What went wrong with department store Mervyn's? The department store just filed for bankruptcy, and blogger Party Pauper has a theory why: Shopping there is just not fun:

Outside of cheap bras and Hello Kitty pajamas in adult sizes, there is little joy to be found in Mervyn's. At the very least, there is nothing worthwhile about the Northridge outpost...

The cash registers were obscured by massive piles of wrinkled clothing and sales people were few and far between (it took a while to actually find a competent person to ring up my purchase). Then there were the customers. There is no return rack, let alone an attendant, in the dressing room, so people just toss unwanted items on the ground (including bikini bottoms, which is another issue altogether). Out in the ladies department, I saw one woman drive her kid's stroller into a rack of clothes, knock over some shirts and continue on without so much as a glance back at the mess she made...

Mervyn's is just one big reminder that you can't afford Macy's, let alone Barney's. It's a store without any dignity.

I've hit the Mervyn's at the Glendale Galleria many times, and Party Pauper got it right. The place is a disaster -- merchandise thrown everywhere, screaming kids, poorly designed displays. It's indeed quite depressing.

ADD: LA Biz Observed notes that several Mervyn's locations could be shut as a result of the Chapter 11. For the Glendale Galleria, that could be a good thing. Mervyn's doors represent the Galleria's only entrance on Brand -- and anyone interested in hitting the Galleria from the street has to go through a Mervyn's maze before finally hitting the mall. Now that the Americana has added tons of foot traffic to that part of Brand, the Galleria would be wise to construct a brand new mall opening there, coupled with new, smaller retail space, rather than attempt to find another department store to fill the void.

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