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Store closures to hit Clovis hard, two retailers to close

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The fallout continues following news two major retailers are either shutting down, or closing locations.

Orchard Supply Hardware is closing all of its stores by the end of the year.

Kmart also announced it's closing some locations by November.

Clovis has one of each on Shaw Avenue-- and it is bracing for job losses.

Clovis' Community and Economic Development Director Andrew Haussler says it was only a matter of time before Kmart announced the closure.

"Just based on national news and what we know about the store," Haussler said.

But Orchard's announcement was sudden.

Employees say they only learned about the closures Tuesday.

According to the State Economic Development Department, Clovis stands to lose close to 150 jobs with the two closures.

The impact will be widespread.

"It's a ripple effect. As someone loses their employment, loses their livelihood, they have less to spend in the community and that hurts everyone," Haussler said.

Lowe's is the parent company of Orchard Supply Hardware.

In a statement, it says it is working on the transition for its associates and "encouraging them to apply for open roles at Lowe's stores, where they will receive priority status."

The closures come as another anchor retailer in Clovis recently shut down, also on Shaw Avenue.

The Toys R Us location remains empty -- the retailer still looking for a tenant.

But, all things considered, Haussler says Shaw Avenue remains healthy.

The vacancy rate is below ten percent.

And Clovis is drawing a lot of attention these days.

"[We are the] Third fastest growing city in the state of California in populations over 100-thousand," Haussler said. "Its' a strong market retailers are paying attention to."

Haussler says companies are drawn to Shaw Avenue.

He says there is a demand for a furniture retailer and a general merchandise store like Hobby Lobby or Sam's Club.

While the empty locations offer a lot of square footage, some may be sectioned off into two or three storefronts.

By Wednesday afternoon, shoppers were already stopping by Kmart looking for savings.

They said some items were already being marked down.

"My mom used to bring me here all the time, growing up. Cause it's good deals here, it's cheap," said Anna Bravo.

Charlie Winfield stocked up on bags of potting soil.

"Sorry to see the store close, but if it's gonna work in my favor, I'm in favor of that," Winfield said.

Store Liquidation sales are set to begin at Orchard Supply Hardware on Thursday.

The goal is to close by the end of the year.

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