Goody’s closing 2nd time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 26, 2002

[03/26/02]Goody’s Family Clothing in Pemberton Square will close after a second attempt to build a clientele in Vicksburg.

Officials at the mall said they are looking at a couple of possible replacements for Goody’s

The last day of business will be in May, said officials from corporate headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn., where the chain is based.

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Goody’s had its first store in Pemberton Square for 3 1/2 years before closing it in 1997. When that store closed, it was replaced by Stage Stores, but that store closed in 2000 following a corporate bankruptcy.

Goody’s opened what was described as an updated store in the same location on Nov. 22, 2000.

“May 25 will be the last business day for (the Vicksburg) store,” said Kristin Macht, a public relations specialist at corporate headquarters.

“We are talking to a couple of people,” said Kelsey Mitchell, a spokesman for Pemberton Square. “We are aggressively working on it.”

Mitchell said she did not know when mall officials will announce a replacement for the 20,000 square feet.

She said mall officials were not surprised by Goody’s announcement.

“We had been working on it because (the closing) was a possibility,” she said.

Macht said the chain evaluates the performance of its stores every year.

“This store just did not perform like the other stores in the chain,” Macht said.

She said the decision was local business volume and had nothing to do with the performance of the Goody’s chain.

On March 20, the corporation reported a net loss for the fourth financial quarter of its 2001 fiscal year that ended Feb. 2 of nearly $7.7 million compared to net earnings of more than $11.1 million for the same quarter in the previous fiscal year. The company reported total sales for the most recent quarter down to $363.1 million compared to $400.3 million the previous year.

For the year, the company reported net losses of $20.2 million compared to net earnings of $13.3 million for the previous fiscal year.

Goody’s has 332 stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Pemberton Square opened in 1986 and remains Vicksburg’s largest shopping center with McRae’s, Dillard’s and J.C. Penney as anchor tenants.