Tulare Pavillion gets new stores, drawing shoppers
Luis Hernandez, Visalia Times-Delta
With the recent openings of Ross Dress for Less and dd’s Discounts, the Tulare Pavilion shopping center is near tenant capacity, recovering from a double-gut punch of having two anchor stores close.
Mervyn’s closed at the shopping center in 2009. Kmart closed in 2016.
Coupled with the openings of Harbor Freight Tools and a Dollar Tree store earlier this year, the vacant spaces are now filled.
“We saw the Mervyn’s building was empty for a long time,” Tulare Council member Carlton Jones said. “It’s nice to see that filled.”
Harbor Freight Tools and the Dollar Tree store moved into the former Mervyn’s building while Ross and dd’s took over Kmart’s former location.
Donnette Silva-Carter, Tulare Chamber of Commerce CEO, said the stores’ openings mean new jobs in Tulare and a boost to the local economy.
“It’s exciting to see activity there,” she said. “We are seeing that parking lot busy.”
Sales tax revenue is how municipalities pay for services such as police, fire, parks, and roads.
Shoppers seem to enjoy visiting the new stores.
On a recent afternoon, Lisa Palomino, a Visalia resident, walked out of Ross with a couple of large plastic bags filled with merchandise. She said likes shopping in Tulare.
“The store is clean. There’s ample parking. The employees were friendly with customers,” she said. “They have good selections in the store.”
Palomino didn’t mind driving to Tulare for her shopping, she said. After dropping off the bags in her car, Palomino walked to dd’s to continue her shopping.
And Velasquez household members were planning on additional trips to the Tulare Pavillion shopping center: Her husband was planned to pick up some items at Harbor Freight Tools.
With the opening of Ross and dd’s in Tulare, the clothing stores now have locations in Visalia, Hanford, and Delano.
Velasquez likes having those stores in her hometown, she said.
“We don’t have to go elsewhere to go to those stores,” she said. “We have them here.”
Silva-Carter called on residents to support the recent store openings.
“We ought to stay in our town and shop in our town before shopping elsewhere,” she said. “Stay here first.”
Besides the openings at the Tulare Pavilion, there’s plenty of business activity around Tulare, including the openings of The Habit and Wayback Burgers and the recent opening of a Starbucks in downtown.
Additional businesses are expected to open in Tulare, the result of a recruiting trip to a Southern California conference, Jones also said. Seemingly, business activity comes in waves.
“I hope it’s a wave that lasts a long time,” Silva-Carter said.