Written by John Lindt
The Covid-19 shutdown is affecting many Visalia businesses, including well-known chains, large and small. News of recent retail bankruptcies and closures have more outlets teetering on the edge. Here is a list of recently announced business closures and/or bankruptcies.
Houston-based Francesca’s Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: FRAN) women’s clothing and accessories boutique has a location at the Visalia Mall. The retailer has filed for bankruptcy protection and is closing a large number of stores. No news if the Visalia location will be affected.The company has a store in San Luis Obispo and Bakersfield as well.
Guitar Center filed for bankruptcy in November but now looks to exit Chapter 11 approved by a court this past week. The chain is the largest retailer of music instruments. The store was hit by the pandemic’s effect on customers and their budget for discretionary purchases.
The company says they hope less debt will allow them to move forward. The Visalia and Fresno stores remains open.
With three stores in Visalia, locations in Hanford and Tulare and several in the Fresno-Clovis area, Game Stop (GME) is one of the largest chains of video games and software in the U.S. with over 5,500 locations. The Texas company announced in a Dec. 8 presentation to investors that it will close more than 1,000 stores by the end of its fiscal year in March. They cut down more than 783 stores over the previous two years.
The operator of 10 health clubs in Central California, In-Shape Health Clubs filed for bankruptcy reorganization last week after shrinking revenue forced it to permanently close 20 locations during the pandemic. In a Dec. 16 statement, the Stockton-based company said “As you know, California’s mandated shutdown of gyms has kept us closed for the better part of 2020,” noting that the statewide shutdowns have “dramatically impaired [In-Shape] revenue.” So, the company decided to “take steps to restructure so we can focus our resources to ensure our long-term viability.”
The popular gym has two locations in Visalia, one in Porterville as well as six in Bakersfield. In-Shape Health Clubs operates over 64 full-service health clubs throughout California. In Visalia,the Mooney Boulevard location is closed and the gym on Demaree Street is open for outdoor use by reservation.