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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 13th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 37 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 37

Sears to close Santa Maria location

By WILLIAM D'URSO

Sears may be shutting the doors on its Santa Maria Town Center location in February 2020, but leaders of the city’s business community say retail is still going strong.

Suzanne Singh, the economic development director for the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce, said she doesn’t see the town’s retail economy spiraling downward. She referenced the disruption Amazon has caused to brick-and-mortar retail nationally but said Santa Maria has thrived.

“We’re probably 10 years behind that movement,” she said. “We’re going to have more time with retail than a lot of areas.”

The Sears closure is part of a national restructuring by parent company Transform Holdco, which is shutting down 96 Sears and Kmart locations across the country. Nineteen of those Sears stores are in California.

Singh said retail in town is doing well with Santa Maria attracting traffic from neighboring cities. But she notes that the types of retail that are thriving focus on experiences.

“If you look at millennials, they don’t have a lot of stuff, but they have a lot of experiences,” she said. “They’re still going out. They’re still spending money, but they want to go out and have an experience and not come back with a pair of pants.”

She pointed to national chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Cracker Barrel at Enos Ranch Business Center, the same complex as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Costco. 

“I think because of Enos Ranch we are very strong retail wise,” she said. “We are definitely taking on a regional shopping hub type moment.” 




Weekly Poll
Guadalupe is in the midst of new development, but is that a good thing?

No. The new homes will expand the town too much and run the small-town vibe.
No. Commercial development will follow and destroy all the local businesses.
Yes. The town can't survive another economic downturn without more business and residents in town.
Yes, but the town has to steer development toward tourism and the hospitality industry.

| Poll Results