The Water Cooler – The Next Major Retailer To Close Its Doors In Contra Costa County

November 8, 2019 13:00 pm · 25 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

QUESTION: What do you think will be the next major retailer to close its doors in Contra Costa County?

Talk about it….

The Observer November 8, 2019 at 1:14 PM

Fry’s Electronics, then Sears in Sun Valley.

Cowellian November 8, 2019 at 2:01 PM

I suspect you’re right. Eddie Lampert’s latest round of borrowing and closing stores is only delaying the inevitable for Sears.

RANDOM TASK November 8, 2019 at 1:24 PM

Well based off of how Pittsburgh thrashed its mall
The sunvalley mall that used to be nice and well kept and free of crime and a nice place just to visit and eat

Is is a hole I mean Macy’s refuses to put any floor covering down lol
It’s a sign of the times that retail has decided to let the criminals rule and push out the paying public and or provide any real pleasure to shoppers

So shut it down and continue the demise of a civilized clean environment for shoppers

Just let it be looted and housed with bums since the rest of the county seems ok with it

JazZMan November 8, 2019 at 3:57 PM

Macy’s isn’t going anywhere. They’re working on a major remodel (hence the lack of tiles, so that’s only temporary).

Hanne Jeppesen November 9, 2019 at 12:50 AM

You are right Macy’s is not closing. I work for Macy’s in Palo Alto, we just went through a 10 month extensive remodel. I live in Concord and will be transferring to Sun Valley mall next week, when I went into to sign the transfer papers, I notice they are putting in the same carpet as Palo Alto. Macy’s has closed some smaller under performing stores, but are remodeling some of their more successful stores. The Palo Alto store is pretty much busy all the time, and for the last 2 quarters we have met our performance goals.

martinezmike November 8, 2019 at 1:24 PM

Agree Fry’s. They are circling the drain.

Ricardoh November 8, 2019 at 1:30 PM

If they keep raising the rent it won’t be long before they all close. Talked to the owner of a small restaurant business near me and his rent is $10,000 a month. That is just out of hand. Can you imagine how much food you have to sell just to pay the rent.

Bad Nombre November 8, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Either Fry’s has figured out how to make the Soviet model work (half a dozen items in each aisle, empty shelves, etc.) or they are definitely on the way out.

whatever November 8, 2019 at 1:54 PM

Likely not Sears, as they actually own the building and parking lot at that end of the mall. Sears’s value is only in their real estate holdings, so I think they’ll keep the stores open that are on owned properties. They’ll continue to shut down all the leased stores since they make no money and with high leases are a drag on the balance sheet. The time will come, but I think they’ll keep the Sunvalley store open until they sell to a developer.

Pretty sure next to go will be Fry’s.

Foonman November 8, 2019 at 2:06 PM

Sears is on the brink, and Penneys is trying to hold on. If either of them goes Macys will keep the WC store and close Sun Valley. Just my take but it seems Malls just don’t work anymore. If you add in the criminal element allowed to flourish locally, its not the place I would like my wife to shop.

Selkie November 9, 2019 at 10:07 AM

I agree. I went into Sears a couple of years ago and back then I noticed that they haven’t been keeping up with the times. The clothes are cheap and awful looking and it’s a mess in that store. Too many items and I think people don’t want to sift through it all. I notice other stores too but can’t think of the names off the top of my head, when there are hardly any customers in them , or sometimes none at all, I think they won’t last long.

BOB November 8, 2019 at 2:09 PM

I was at Fry’s a couple of months ago, they were out of the item I wanted. The sales person said they were not getting any restock. I asked about their online site, but was told they would not have it either and I would have to check some other online seller.

mike favar November 8, 2019 at 3:25 PM

Fry’s electronics, then Sears, then the macy’s at hilltop mall.

JazzMan November 8, 2019 at 3:55 PM

3 of the 7 food places in the food court have closed. Hopefully they’ll get something more popular. Personally, I’ve never had any trouble with alleged criminal activity in the 25 yrs I’ve lived in the ares. I try to stay away during holiday season, just cuz it’s so busy and many shoppers are just rude.

Original G November 8, 2019 at 4:48 PM

Give aways, number of display shelving units reduced. Number off items on a shelf reduced and number of items in a row behind front item, may be only one or two deep where there used to be four or six. Reduction in number of employees. Frequency and amount of advertising reduced.

In case of two retailers mentioned in posts over past week saw the give aways years ago. Be observant and you’ll be able to spot those having difficulties.

Years ago Peter Lynch of Fidelity investing suggested consider a business with long lines and lots of customers as possible businesses to research.

Sandy G November 8, 2019 at 4:56 PM

I hadn’t thought about it til ya’ll mentioned it, but Fry’s has been a disappointment of late. Since my move to Martinez, Frys is closer than Best Buy, so I’ve gone there. Last time I was there, they were out of the ink cartridges I needed. They said they could refill mine. Okay, cool. The “tech” (I use the term loosely) broke the cartridge trying to fill it. I told the manager I was afraid to use the ones he did fill. She made the situation right. I guess she does a lot of it. Went to Best Buy and they had a whole rack of what I needed. So, agreed. Fry’s is on the way out.

Hanne Jeppesen November 9, 2019 at 10:22 AM

Best Buy have better customer service than Fry’s. I had never been to Fry’s until about 4 years ago, Since then I have bought a computer and a small portable radio from them. The computer didn’t last long, it was a Lenovo, I bought the replacement at Best Buy a Dell, I think their salespeople are more knowledgeable and friendlier than Fry’s. The Geek Squad is great (although they are not really Best Buy, the just lease the space) the transferred stuff from my old computer to the new one and charged me $50.00 less than Fry had quoted me,

Cowellian November 9, 2019 at 11:09 AM

Yes, Best Buy has much better customer service than Fry’s. Fry’s customer service has always been terrible. Walking into a Fry’s, I always knew that if I had to talk to an employee, I would probably be lied to. Nevertheless, Fry’s always had a much better selection of computer parts and components than anyone else. There was something to be said for being able to pick up different parts and comparing them, side-by-side. I assume that it has become too expensive to keep a lot of different products on the shelf while competing with online retailers. And did I mention that Fry’s customer service has always been terrible?

The Real Just me November 8, 2019 at 5:46 PM

If Sears or Macy’s were to vacate one of their locations I’d love to see Dillard’s come to the East Bay. Great well organized stores. Also holding out hope Outdoor Supply Hardware opens up in the Clayton Valley Area…

ON DA November 8, 2019 at 8:29 PM

I have no idea nor do I want to know. What developers should consider is some quiet time space. Ballet, some Ice rinks, health and human services. Some normal down to earth places, that are safe and enjoyable.

Barbie Girl November 9, 2019 at 8:38 AM

Needless Markups. I never see any shoppers there. One downturn in the economy and BAM, they are gone. $400 shirts are ridiculous.

JustMe November 9, 2019 at 4:15 PM

Sears and Frys. Both are in decline. Both have issues maintaining content and quality in stores. Both have less check-outs than they did, say five or ten years ago. Both have closed down areas within their stores.

Beyond that retail is in trouble. We know Forever 21 is experiencing difficulty and closing down stores. JC Penny is trying to hold on. Smaller retail has been closing down.

Sun Valley could do better if…

They increased security in the parking lot
They offer more food options, especially from known entities
They advertised near the entrances the types of stores they have available
I think if they’ve been raising rent, it’s going to be a struggle to maintain stores
They could use a new anchor

DVC Student November 9, 2019 at 5:30 PM

What are the Great Mall in Milpitas & Mall of America in Minneapolis going to do once malls become obsolete? These are massive buildings.

Theresa November 9, 2019 at 9:24 PM

KMart duh

jjshawk November 10, 2019 at 9:17 PM

Maybe Fry’s should consider re-locating to a smaller building? Their current place is huge with too much unused retail space. I hope they figure it out soon. I hate shopping online, then having to wait for shipping, for things I want or need right away. “Brick n mortar”, in my opinion, still has its place.

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