Mervyns to Slim Down

Haywood, Calif., Mervyns LLC plans to close 62 underperforming stores and lay off 4,800 workers as its streamlines operations and focuses its efforts on high-growth markets in the West and Southwest. The closings will leave the company with 193 stores in 10 states.

By February 2006, the chain will exit the Michigan and Oklahoma markets and parts of Texas, Colorado and Louisiana. It will also close a store in Oregan, one in Utah and one in Southern California, along with two distribution centers.

The stores slated for closure have not been profitable for years and are a significant drain on the company’s bottom line, Mervyns said. Although they comprise about 25% of all Mervyns stores, they represent only 17% of total sales.

Target Corp. sold Mervyns last year to a private-investment consortium.