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December 21, 2014

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Kohl’s eyeing Mervyns locations

The former Mervyns store at the Grand Canyon Shopping Center, near the intersection of the 215 Beltway and Flamingo Road, might become a Kohl's department store.

After 60 years of business, Mervyns filed for bankruptcy in July and in October decided to close all 176 of its stores, which were located across the western United States. All four branches in the Las Vegas area were included in the closures.

Kohl's is in negotiations to purchase the site at 4265 S. Grand Canyon Drive, said Francine Glandt of Developers Diversified Realty, the firm overseeing the transaction.

She said there is no timetable yet on when Kohl's might move into the location. There are already five Kohl's department stores in the Las Vegas Valley.

Another former Mervyns store at the Nellis Crossing shopping center in east Las Vegas was acquired by Kohl's on Dec. 10 before Mervyns closed there Dec. 23.

The Mervyns at 4700 Meadows Lane near The Meadows Mall also closed on Dec. 23, and the Mervyns at 1316 W. Sunset Road in Henderson — in the Galleria at Sunset mall — shut its doors on Jan. 2.

Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl's said Dec. 12 that it prevailed in a joint bid with Forever 21 Inc. in an auction of leaseholds for Mervyns sites. Together, the retailers acquired 46 locations for approximately $6.25 million. Kohl's will assume 31 of the locations while Forever 21 Inc. will assume 15, pending approval by the bankruptcy court. Kohl's didn't specify if any of the Las Vegas stores are among the 46 locations acquired, and a company spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

"We are pleased with the results of the auction," said Kevin Mansell, Kohl's president and chief executive. "With over 1,000 stores from coast to coast, these locations provide increased presence in under-penetrated markets. We will continue to be opportunistic and prudent in our discussions with the owners of select Mervyns real estate as we continue to position Kohl's to grow market share."

In fiscal year 2009, Kohl's plans to open about 50 stores, including the majority of the 31 former Mervyns locations.

At the Grand Canyon Shopping Center, the Payless Shoes store has seen a decrease in customers since the adjacent Mervyns closed in late October.

"We've been closing two hours earlier every day because of a lack of business," said Amy Morris, a sales associate at Payless Shoes.

Her co-worker Lauren McDonald said if the former store re-opens as a Kohl's, it would help Payless.

"People might not buy anything, but it will definitely increase our traffic," McDonald said.

Lucy Woo, manager at the nearby Hottie World women's clothing boutique, said she hasn't noticed a decrease in business since the Mervyns closed, but welcomed the thought of Kohl's moving in.

"It's always good when a new business opens," Woo said. "It might bring more people in here."

Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or [email protected].

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