What will happen to Walnut Creek’s downtown if certain major retailers go out of business in today’s economic crisis?

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving (and two days before retail’s famed Black Friday), and I came across this not very cheery report from 24/7 Wall St., which claims to offer “insightful analysis and commentary for U.S. and global equity investors.” Anyway, 24/7 WallSt.com names “The Black Friday 10: Retailers Who Might Not See 2009.” 24/7 WallSt. says these companies might not make it if their sales drop by double digits this holiday season compared to last year’s holiday season.

Among those retailers listed are four that occupy prominent storefront space in downtown Walnut Creek. Notably, this list includes Cost Plus Market, the Oakland-based imptorer that serves as one of the anchors for Oympic Place, a retail, entertainment and shopping complex at the corner of California and Mount Diablo boulevards. Cost Plus, at the crossroads of those two thoroughfares, occupies what some would consider a “gateway” position into downtown Walnut Creek.

Olympic Place has already lost Bombay Company and Bombay Kids–and our family’s personal favorites, Moonstruck Fine Chocolates and the burger-shake-and-fries joint, Johnny Rockets. Somehow, those businesses just couldn’t make a go of it, either because of that location or, especially, after GEC (Global Economic Crisis) hit.

Meanwhile, a co-worker had recently been into the local Walnut Creek Williams-Sonoma, another retailer on the Black Friday 10 list. My co-worker said the staff at Williams-Sonoma was desperately eager to get people inside, and to please.

This late Wednesday afternoon, the eve of Thanksgiving–and perhaps not the best time to make this observation and form a judgment–I drove by Williams-Sonoma. But, I didn’t see many people clamoring to get inside.

Wonder how the empty aisles at Williams-Sonoma on Wednesday afternoon predict the crowds for Black Friday? 24/7 Wall Street says that the day after Thanksgiving is considered the bellwether of holiday sales and will determine “the fate of several companies which are now viewed as the weakest operators in the industry.”

And, yes, according to 24/7’s list, the 10 companies on that list also include the clothier Talbots , which is Main Street, and the other affordable import specialty store, Pier 1 Imports at 2099 Mt. Diablo Blvd. To read more about 24/7 Wall Street has to say about these four companies and why they are struggling, click here.

One thought on “What will happen to Walnut Creek’s downtown if certain major retailers go out of business in today’s economic crisis?

  1. I don’t like any of these stores. I don’t care if they go out of business than really good stores can come in. Walnut creek is too full of itself anyway.


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