Apparel chains Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister will be closing their stores in the Simi Valley Town Center at the end of March.
Although management a the shopping center, owned by Alberta Development Partners, could not confirm the total employees affected by the closure, officials from the retail chain reported about 117 layoffs in an interview with the Ventura County Star last week.
For the past two years, the Ohio-based retailer has implemented a series of store closures nationwide, citing lower than expected domestic stores sales. In 2010 the company closed 65 stores and expected to close about 55-60 in 2011, according to public documents.
For the quarter ended Jan. 28, the company reported domestic sales of $962.2 million, a 4 percent increase from the year prior. Comparable store sales for the quarter were flat from last year.
Jeff DiJulius, general manager of the Simi Valley Town Center, said despite those overall trends, sales at the center’s Abercrombie and Hollister stores have been “tremendous.” The center’s Abercrombie & Fitch realized a 39 percent increase for the 2011 calendar year, while Hollister sales increased 27 percent, he said.
“I don’t understand everything that went into the decision (to close the stores),” DiJulius said. “I’m not privy to all the details.”
The shopping center has partnered with Best Jobs Magazine to host a job fair for those affected by the closures on March 14.
Although no tenants have been announced to replace the Abercrombie and Hollister stores, DiJulius said the mall is currently working on the final plans for redevelopment at the Simi Valley Town Center.
“We’ve spent the last 12 months evaluating redevelopment options,” he said.