Los Angeles’ small boutiques and specialty stores are taking a hard hit this economic season. Many of the fames shopping areas have given way to a host of vacant shops and empty lots. Mulberry, Sergio Rossi, and Lambertson Truex are among the stores located on the famed Melrose Place that have closed its doors. Other fashion districts such as Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue, Robertson Boulevard, and shops along Venice Beach have seen a wave of foreclosures and consolidations, according to Women’s Wear Daily. However, the ritzy Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills remains relatively unaffected by the surge.-LB