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Burlington Coat Factory opening store in Manteca

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POSTED January 28, 2012 12:49 a.m.

Burlington Coat Factory is opening a Manteca store this fall in the former Mervyn’s store at Mission Ridge Shopping Center.

It marks a major resurgence for the South Main Street shopping complex that opened in 1991 at the time as Manteca’s first new retail center in almost 20 years. The clothing retailer’s decision to locate in the center comes on the heels of both Safeway and Walmart completing major renovations of their stores in the southern part of the Mission Ridge Shopping complex.

The opening of Burlington Coat Factory in the fall will leave only three vacant store fronts in the northern part of the Mission Ridge Center. The biggest space remaining empty was vacated by Social Security when they built a new Manteca office that opened late last year on Commerce Court behind Home Depot.

The northern portion of the center separated from the southern segment by Mission Ridge Drive became almost a ghost center after Mervyn’s closed in December 2008. In the past year, though, new businesses have opened including Main Street Doughnuts, Manteca Computer Service, and Toni & Guy’s Hair Academy.

Other tenants are Family Christian Store, Big 5 Sporting Goods, H&R Block, and Fashion 4 Less.

There was a fear that after Orchard Valley and Stadium Retail Center opened that the complex would go downhill. At one point, Walmart was scouting for a new location. The three stores in tandem - Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, and Safeway - should provide a strong draw that will be able to lure traffic to smaller businesses nearby and fill the remaining vacant store fronts.

Burlington Coat Factory has 470 stores in 44 states including Modesto and Stockton. The firm has 28,000 employees nationwide and was bought by Bain Capital - the firm that presidential hopeful Mitt Romney once ran - in 2006.

The stores concentrate on coats, outerwear, apparel, shoes, accessories, baby clothes, furniture, home décor items, and gifts. Retail experts indicate Burlington Coat Factory’s primary competitors are T.J. Maxx and Ross Dress-4-Less stores. Both competitors have stores in Manteca although the square footage of each is smaller than the 60,000-square-foot former Mervyn’s store.

The addition of another major clothing retailer is expected to help Manteca further reduce consumer dollar bleeding to Modesto, Stockton, and Tracy and help boost sales tax revenues for the city as well as provide additional jobs.

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