Four youth retailers coming to Visalia in 2024

Sola Salon is shown behind new signage for the Sequoia Mall at intersection of Caldwell Avenue and Fairway Street.(Kenny Goodman)

Carters, OshKosh, Skechers coming to the Sequoia Mall and The Buckle coming to the Visalia Mall next year

VISALIA – The rejuvenation of the Sequoia Mall continues after the shopping center announced three new tenants.

Sequoia Mall owner Dave Paynter said children’s retailers Carters and OshKosh B’gosh, both owned by the same parent company, will be side by side in two 4300 square foot spaces. These top brands in children’s apparel are already sold in Macy’s and J.C. Penny so the company is said to be familiar with market demand in the region.

In a larger 7,800 square foot space, Skechers USA will also join the growing number of new retailers coming to Visalia. The California-based multinational footwear company is the third largest footwear brand in the United States. The three are scheduled to open in 2024 and will be located just south Hobby Lobby along the frontage of the shopping center facing Mooney. All three retailers happen to have stores in the Tulare Outlet Mall.

The stores are just the latest additions to the shopping center’s rebirth. Nordstrom Rack just opened and Sprouts Grocery and Barnes and Noble bookstores are scheduled to open by December. Both will be located on the south end of the former Sears building. Paynter associate Jim Sanders said the company filed plans with the city just this week.

Down the block at the Visalia Mall, general manager Rick Feder confirms that The Buckle, which markets itself as a “denim destination,” will open next year at the mall. Their target market includes “fashion-conscious 12-to-24-year-olds.” The Buckle is one of the leading retailers of medium-to-better-priced casual wear for men and women with some 443 stores across the US and locations in Bakersfield and Fresno.

Tulare County is an attractive market for youth-oriented retailers with some 140,000 residents 17 and under and a birth rate that exceeds the California average.

Visalia Mayor Brian Poochigian praised Dave Paynter’s efforts over the years to improve blighted areas in Visalia include the former “Sin City” apartment, now a successful shopping center anchored by Ross and Kohl’s, and the former Sears-anchored Sequoia Mall, now finally turning around with new life.

Feder said the fact that the rival Sequoia Mall is getting lots of new retail blood ”is good news for all the stores on Mooney Boulevard and for Visalia.” He said business at the Visalia Mall is chugging along, not at the pace seen last year, but that the mall “just had a great back to school sales period.”

Reuters reported this week “that U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in September as households stepped up purchases of motor vehicles and spent more at restaurants and bars, cementing expectations that economic growth accelerated sharply in the third quarter.

“The economy’s enduring strength has defied the hand-wringing since late 2022 about a possible recession this year. Its stamina was underscored by other data on Tuesday showing production at factories rising solidly last month despite strikes in the automobile industry.”

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