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Blowout sales for shoppers

Mervyns, Linens ’N Things out of business

Posted: November 18, 2008 9:43 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2008 4:30 a.m.

As high-profile retailers Linens 'N Things and Mervyns LLC enter bankruptcy, local customers who were taking advantage of the blowout prices still reacted with concern.

"I'm very sad, I was always shopping here," said Fara Farrohi outside Linens 'N Things in Stevenson Ranch. "I guess it's the economy. I think we're going to see a few more (retail store closures). It might just be that it's their time now."

Mervyns LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, announced it would hold going-out-of-business sales at the company's 149 locations before its final closing.

Linens 'N Things filed for bankruptcy protection in May and began the liquidation process.

"You feel like you don't have the stability you need in life when you're afraid of the near future," she said.
Customer Rachel Foglesong of Castaic, said Mervyns has gone down hill over the past years. "I think Mervyns was a lot better like 10 years ago and then something happened. I don't know what it was," she said.

Other customers echoed Foglesong's disappointment.

"It is sad. (Mervyns) has been here for a super long time," said Jami Hoslet of Saugus. "It's probably because of all the other shops around. Kohl‘s, Target. Too much competition."

Linens 'N Things spokesman Rich Tauberman said company officials feel bad for their customers and employees.

"But we've tried everything we could and, unfortunately, we could not withstand the economic forces aligned against us," he said.

The records show other retailers have been hard-hit by the economy, and the holidays don't promise much improvement.

Best Buy Co. slashed its earnings forecast in early November noting "seismic" changes in consumer behavior created "the most difficult climate" it had ever seen.

Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week and cut more jobs at the same time.

"It's the economy. Everyone's struggling," said business owner Rich Andrizzi. "People are watching their pennies, stocks crashing, fuel prices."

Jessie Haugabook of Sylmar said the unimaginable can become imaginable in times like these.

"I've seen what happens in ghost cities and the devastation that occurs when the economy takes a toll on retailers," she said. "I lost $10,000 in my 401(k) and I didn't think that could happen either. This is Santa Clarita, but I don't know, will all these stores make it through the next three years?"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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