By  on August 18, 2008

Mervyns and Boscov’s, which are on a growing list of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy because of the troubled economy, are shuttering underperforming stores.

Hayward, Calif.-based Mervyns plans to shut 26 of its 176 units by late October or early November: 11 in California, six in Texas, four in Arizona, four in Nevada and one in Idaho. Mervyns operates in six states in the West and Southwest.

“We believe this is a necessary step in our process to emerge from bankruptcy as a stronger company, better positioned to compete in the retail industry,” said John Goodman, chief executive officer of Mervyns.

Boscov’s, which operates 49 stores in six states, will close 10 locations: Five in Pennsylvania, three in Maryland and one each in New Jersey and Virginia. Seven of the units were among the 10 sites that Boscov’s purchased from Federated Department Stores, now Macy’s Inc., in 2006. The store-closing sales began Saturday.

Mervyns filed a Chapter 11 petition seeking bankruptcy court protection on July 29 in Delaware. The retailer secured a $465 million debtor-in-possession facility from a lender group led by Wachovia Capital Finance Corp. to fund operations while in bankruptcy.

Boscov’s filed for bankruptcy court protection on Aug. 4 in Delaware. The 97-year-old Reading, Pa.-based retailer said in a court affidavit that its customers have been hit hard by the collapse of the housing market and rising energy and food prices. In addition, Boscov’s said tightening credit put further constraints on the broadline retailing industry.

Steve & Barry’s, Goody’s Family Clothing Inc., Shoe Pavilion, Whitehall Jewelers and Linens-N-Things also have sought bankruptcy protection this year.�

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