Old Navy to close Victoria mall store

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Dec. 28, 2010 at 6:28 a.m.

Old Navy in the Victoria Mall will be closing its doors sometime in the first several weeks of 2011.

Old Navy in the Victoria Mall will be closing its doors sometime in the first several weeks of 2011.

Old Navy in the Victoria Mall will close sometime in the first several weeks of 2011.

The clothing store could not reach a lease renewal agreement with the mall.

"It's just been made official after Christmas," said Jessica Matuizek, store manager.

Sale advertisements on the store's windows showed no major hints to the store's forthcoming departure.

The store will continue having sales until it closes, Matuizek said.

Matuizek did not go into specifics as to what the lease disagreement was about.

However, operating as a standalone store in Victoria is a possibility, but Matuizek was unsure about future plans.

Several calls to the Victoria Mall management and Matt Horcha, the Old Navy district manager, were not returned Tuesday.

At least six other mall stores closed this year.

For Kayla Longoria, who has worked at Old Navy for a year and a half, the store's closure means fewer stores to shop at and of course, looking for another job.

"I don't know where I'm going to go," she said, as a line of customers buying items on sale began to form at her register.

She and 44 other employees will be let go when the store closes, Matuizek said.

Employees aren't the only ones worried about the store closing.

Yadira Hernandez, a devout Victoria customer, has frequented the store many times in the past several years.

"I think it's a bad thing," said Hernandez, in Spanish.

Hernandez had just purchased some clothes for her three children.

"I like the store a lot," she said.

The store's sales and stylish clothing is a draw.

"I've shopped here for each of my children since they were born," she added.

On the opposite end of the mall, Popcorn Plus, a locally-owned family candy shop, takes an order from a customer.

The shop felt significant effects when Gap and FYE closed because of the stores were close to their business, said Diana Reichert, manager.

"Our sales went way down," she said.

Because Old Navy is farther away, Reichert is not expecting any major downturn in business.

Reichert said she feels for the businesses closer to Old Navy that have already felt the effects of the economy, and soon the closure of a large clothing store.

"It doesn't help," she said.



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