Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara shoppers react to retail shakeups

Fate of State Street shops undetermined

Santa Barbara shoppers react to retail s

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As mall staples like Payless Shoe Source and Gymboree move to close all retail stores, it seems like the age of Amazon is impacting even more brick-and-mortar businesses.

The "secret" is out and it could be a "model" for what's to come.

Following poor holiday sales, 53 Victoria’s Secret stores are losing their angel wings.

"Shocked, like I don't want them to because it's one of my favorite stores,” said Elin Eriksson, a Santa Barbara area college student. 

Parent company L Brands says the lingerie chain continues to come up short to the competition with sales at stores open at least a year falling seven percent during the most recent quarter.

“It's sad for the communities that are going to lose, especially if it's ours here. It's just one more empty store on State Street which I know is a huge concern for everybody,” said Jaime Diamond of Carpinteria. 

While there is still no word on whether or not this impacts the Paseo Nuevo location, shoppers like Diamond are in tune with the struggles facing State Street.

“We have to just hang on to what we have at least, we can't keep bleeding out stores,” said Diamond. 

Thursday’s additional retail news about the Gap and Old Navy split came as a shock to the Carpinteria tourism-based business owner.

"I use a Gap card to pay my everyday bills and then I get points and dollars for that that I use to get my kids clothes at Old Navy and some of my stuff at Gap, so it's more of an inconvenience,’ said Diamond. 

The company plans to shutter 230 Gap stores over the next two years.  A list of stores that will close their doors has not been released. Officials say the breakup allows Old Navy, boasting $8 billion in annual sales, to expand on it's own. 

“Do you think it's because of e-commerce? E-commerce is booming and maybe that's a better solution  for retail than real retail,” said Adam Vernasselt, a Santa Barbara shopper.

Vernasselt could be on to something as Amazon just announced a new streamlined delivery service, set to kick off next week along with their plans to open up shop in downtown Santa Barbara in the old Saks Off 5th store.

Financial experts are cheering the Gap/Old Navy move, Gap stock was up 25 percent in after-hours trading. 

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