Old Navy closing at Gulf View Square mall

PORT RICHEY — National retail woes mean more bad news for local shoppers: Old Navy says it will close its Gulf View Square mall location in less than two weeks.

The affordable clothing retailer's news comes less than a month after sister brand Gap Outlet announced it would close its Gulf View Square store.

The impending loss of the two well-known clothing stores comes on the heels of the shuttering of Linens 'N Things and KB Toys, two national retailers that went out of business last year. Linens 'N Things, in particular, had been located in a prominent anchor spot.

Old Navy's last day is Jan. 26, said Catherine Rhoades, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Gap Inc., which owns Old Navy, the Gap and Banana Republic.

Both the Gap Outlet and Old Navy stores at Gulf View are starting to look bare and are offering discounted prices.

Gap Inc., which reported a 10 percent loss in the quarter that ended Nov. 29, has said it would close about 115 stores nationwide and open another 100, for a net loss of 15 stores.

Rhoades would not say why the company is closing its Gulf View Square locations but said there are multiple factors that go into the decision, including financial performance and the number of other Gap Inc. stores nearby.

There are Old Navy stores in Brooksville and Clearwater, and Gap stores at Citrus Park Mall and Countryside in Clearwater.

The job loss for the two Gulf View Square locations is unclear. A Gap spokeswoman said the company tries to transfer workers to other locations.

Mall spokesman John Liu was out of the office and could not be reached for comment Tuesday. In a previous interview, he said holiday shopping was down at Gulf View Square just as it was nearly everywhere else.

He said last year's opening of the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel may have also had an impact on lower sales figures at Gulf View Square.

He said Simon Property Group, which owns Gulf View Square, has been working to attract a number of well-known retailers, though discussions are tentative.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

Old Navy closing at Gulf View Square mall 01/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 7:32pm]

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