A major retail store is set to open its doors this weekend in Los Banos.
Ross Dress For Less is holding a grand opening Saturday on the site of the old Los Banos K-Mart at 1400 S. Mercey Springs Road. The Los Banos location also will be joined by Saturday grand openings for 29 other stores in cities across the country, including Tulare, Mission Hills, Glendale, Los Angeles, Santa Fe Springs, Rialto and Chula Vista.
The opening marks the first major retailer coming to Los Banos recruited with the help of Texas-based retail strategist Buxton Co., said Community and Economic Development Director Stacy Souza Elms.
“Ross has been looking at Los Banos (as a possible store site) for the past three years,” said Stacy Souza Elms, the city’s community and economic development director. “It was helpful to have market analytics from Buxton to be able to show why Los Banos is a great match for them.”
Ross will occupy 25,749-square feet on the east end of the former K-Mart shopping center Souza Elms said. The center is anchored by Save Mart, which moved into the renovated retail complex in May 2017.
The city is currently in the second year of a maximum three-year, $50,000 per year, contract with Buxton. The consultant has been tasked with helping city leaders identify areas of economic strengths and weaknesses to attract businesses to Los Banos.
Buxton also is helping the city identify economic “leakages,” or areas where there is a lost opportunity for business and sales tax revenue, Souza Elms said. A lack of places in town to buy affordable clothing has been a major leakage point for the city.
Last year, city officials attended a retail convention with Buxton and the Save Mart Shopping Center development owner, NetCo Investments, Inc., Souza Elms said, noting the analytical information from Buxton helped convince Ross to open shop in Los Banos.
“Currently, we don’t have these types of retail opportunities and we’re really limited there,” Souza Elms said, characterizing the retail industry as a “leakage” point for Los Banos. “A lot of people are shopping outside of Los Banos for clothing and various essentials. And we lose that revenue.”
Several factors go into a retailer’s desire to open a store in a city, Souza Elms said.
“Our population growth is really the most attractive part of us telling our story,” Souza Elms said.
The Los Banos location is scheduled to be open Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.