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Town Center reduces hours

Opening and closing times shift to adjust for decline in retail sales

Posted: February 25, 2009 1:15 a.m.
Updated: February 25, 2009 10:00 a.m.
 
Shoppers reacted with concern and understanding Tuesday when they learned the Westfield Valencia Town Center will cut daily shopping time by an hour to save retailers some expenses.

As of March 1, the mall will open 30 minutes later and close 30 minutes earlier Monday through Friday, said Westfield Valencia’s Marketing Director Theone Miller. The cut shifts opening time to 10:30 a.m. and closing time to 8:30 p.m.

“I think it’s kind of a drag; I like to get in and out early” said Leeann Bell, of Canyon Country.

But dealing with the loss of an earlier shopping day is “better than seeing retailers go out of business,” she said.

All 10 Los Angeles Westfield centers will make the time trim, said Zanne Augur-Daniels, a Westfield Group regional marketing director.
Diane Albanese, of Stevenson Ranch, said she’ll just have to “adjust (her) shopping hours.”

“I’d rather have them adjust hours than close the mall,” she said.  

Bryan Sanchez of San Fernando was surprised. He used to work at Gap but quit months ago when his hours were cut to respond to slower customer traffic, he said.

“Maybe it will help in the long run, but I don’t think there will be a dramatic effect right away,” Sanchez, 19, said.

“The initiative was intended to help our retailers save, conserve resources and respond appropriately to the changing consumer demands and traffic patterns,” Miller said. “Every little bit can help.”

National retail reports continue to indicate decreased consumer confidence and Americans’ financial concerns.

Macy’s Inc. reported an almost 59-percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings due to weak sales and one-time costs associated with the consolidations of regional divisions and store closings. Target Corp. and Home Depot also reported depressed fourth-quarter results.

Signs of a further collapse in consumer confidence is bad news for the economy and stores, whose success hinges on shoppers being in the mood to spend.

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