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Another Hatch Road retailer closing
Another large retail space will be vacant on Hatch Road following the planned closure of Big Lots.

The store, known for selling inexpensive consumables and housewares as brand-name closeouts, has operated at 1342 E. Hatch Road, a shopping center dating back to the early 1970s.

Employees were notified a few weeks ago via e-mail that the store is closing as soon as all of its merchandise is sold.

"It was a shock to us," said store manager Corena Vanderburg.

The store employees approximately 20 workers. Vanderburg said she's been with Big Lots for 21 years, 15 at the Ceres store.

"I haven't had a truck (delivery) in three weeks," said Vanderburg on Friday. "When the stock is sold we're closed."

Employees were not told why the store is closing. However, Big Lots has lost four stores in California between 2008 and 2010, according to the company website. Two Big Lots will remain open in Modesto and one in Turlock. Vanderburg said one reason the Ceres store has not done well is that it doesn't sell furniture as the other stores do.

Theft has also been a problem, the manager said.

"There's been a lot of theft. Shopping carts full have gone out of the doors."

Vanderburg also noted that the Ceres store has "a lot of nice people, loyal customers."

Big Lots has annual revenues approaching $5 billion and operates more than 1,400 retail stores serving 48 states. The chain was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The Courier was unable to reach the headquarter's public relations department for a comment.

Earlier this year the poor local economy led to the closure of Raley's, an anchor tenant of the Ceres Marketplace Shopping Center at Hatch and Richland avenues.

CVS is planning to abandon its current large retail space on the south side of Hatch Road to relocate to a newer store being constructed at Hatch and Central avenues.