Despite the recession, several new retailers are headed for Fresno shopping centers.
Area malls are attracting a variety of businesses -- from a MAC cosmetics store to independently owned novelty shop Kwirkworld -- to fill spaces left empty in the worst business downturn in decades.
It's a sign that retailers still believe customers have money to spend, particularly because there are few nearby cities with large retailers to compete, said Jeff Green, a retail consultant in Mill Valley.
"Fresno has a great deal of pent-up retail potential," he said.
But others are skeptical, including Fresno State marketing professor Bill Rice. He believes shoppers will continue to cut back spending on "frills." He also said westside water troubles have forced some Valley residents to cut spending.
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