With the rise of e-commerce began the downfall of the traditional mode of business. Perhaps you have noticed just how many brick-and-mortar stores have closed shop after all these years of operation! Sadly, this seems to be the way things will be in the future! Stores continue to shut down at record speed. This trend has been alive and well this year thus far, and you can count on it continuing to happen. There has been a large decline in just about any type of business: electronics, clothing, home goods, and more! It is time for us to find out if your favorite made the cut or got the ax.
Payless Shoesource is the company with the highest number of store closures this year. How sad is that? The company plans to close over 2,500 stores. Perhaps you will even find a clearance sale, which they are doing in order to get rid of products and liquidate assets. Some stores stayed open until May, while many closed as early as the end of March.
The children’s clothing retailer Gymboree Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy in January 2019. The company announced that it was going to close 800 Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores across the United States and Canada by 2020. Aside from that, you might have noticed that they stopped taking online transactions even when they were still doing liquidation sales. Apparently, this was the second time that Gymboree filed for bankruptcy in the past two years. It also shut down a number of stores back in 2017.
In March, Charlotte Russe confirmed that it was planning to close the entire chain. The plan was to close more than 500 locations across the country. Earlier, the company announced that it was closing 94 stores. The other stores remained open until April 30. They also ceased the operation of their websites, even though their products were still available during the liquidation sales they held in different stores.
Dollar Tree is a discount retailer that mentioned its plan to shut down 390 stores this year. This means that it is time for you to head somewhere else when you need to buy personal care items on the cheap! The company plans to rename the brand and its 200 remaining locations. There might be more changes in the future as well. Do you think they will start charging more than $1 for their items? It is possible.
Shopko made an announcement about the plans to shut down 70 percent of all stores by May. However, it then changed plans and announced that the stores will close down for good. In January, the company applied for bankruptcy. It hoped that a buyer would come in to save the remaining stores! Sadly, this did not happen, so it was time for Plan B: the liquidation of its assets and closure of all stores by June.
Gap Inc. is planning to shut down around 230 stores all over the globe in the next two years! This is basically half of its total locations. The company plans to revamp Gap’s sister company, Old Navy, as a different business. Apparently, Old Navy is faring much better than Gap and Banana Republic when it comes to sales. It also plans to operate its brands like Hill City, Athleta, Intermix, Gap, and Banana Republic under its new name, NewCo. Let’s see how it goes.
H&M might be one of the most popular stores among teenagers, but it might not be a mall staple anymore. This year, the company plans to shut down 160 stores in the name of optimization. It arrived at this decision after struggling to stay afloat in the U.S. Luckily, it is seeing steadier growth abroad. The company wanted to open 355 new stores this year, but it will be outside of Europe and the U.S.
It was last summer that Starbucks announced its plans to shut down 150 underperforming stores this year. This is thrice the typical number of stores it shutters in a fiscal year. However, it clarified that the closures will affect the oversaturated markets in big cities where branches compete with one another.
The Children’s Place
The Children’s Place made an announcement about its plan to shutter 300 stores that underperform by 2020. According to Forbes, the children’s goods retailer shut down 191 stores before 2018 already. This means that it still plans to shutter 100 more stores. The Children’s Place has been investing quite a lot of money to boost its online presence in the hopes of improving its profits.
We have some bad news for all bicycle enthusiasts and cyclists out there. The biggest bicycle retailer in the country has decided to close for good. As of March 2, all 104 stores have shut down. Last fall, its mother company Advanced Sports Enterprises decided to file for bankruptcy. Initially, it wanted to save half of its locations by lease renegotiation. Sadly, the company eventually decided to close altogether.
Sears Holdings, the very company that owns Kmart and Sears, announced that it planned to close about 90 stores by March. Its list of stores showed that locations all over the United States were going to be affected by the closure. Texas and Florida suffered the biggest impact with 7 shuttered stores in each.
Lowe’s is a famous home and garden company that closed 51 underperforming stores already. The closure took place this year, with 20 of them in the U.S. and the rest in Canada. The company announced that it planned to carry out the closures by 2020. It was set in motion after the CEO Marvin R. Ellison replaced Robert Niblock.
Vera Bradley seems to be reconsidering its strategy. Instead of focusing on physical stores, it wants to channel its attention on licensing. It hopes to sell home merchandise through retail stores like Bed Bath and Beyond and Macy’s instead. The company also wants to shut down as many as 50 stores by 2021. This is when the leases are due to expire.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch said that it will be closing 40 stores by next February. Most of the locations are in the U.S. This number is higher than the 29 store closures it had in 2018! According to Business Insider, a spokesman said that the company plans to invest in remaining locations by “delivering approximately 85 new experiences, including 40 new stores, with continued reduction in overall square footage.”
Christopher & Banks
In 2018, Christopher & Banks announced that it was going to shut down 30 to 40 stores over the course of the next 2 years. However, this does not necessarily imply that its sales are going down! You might be glad to hear that its e-commerce sales are doing well and even expected to keep climbing this year.
Last year, this womenswear retailer stopped operations in 30 stores. That number is due to go up this year. L Brand, its parent company, said that it was going to close 53 Victoria’s Secret stores. This would make up about 4 percent of the stores it has around the globe!
Early this year, Henri Bendel shuttered all two dozen of its stores across the country. Last fall, its parent company L Brands announced that it was going to shut down everything from the website to the iconic Fifth Avenue store. The company wanted to focus more on Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.
Chico’s is a subsidiary of Chico’S FAS. The parent company announced that it was going to close 250 locations in the next three years. Aside from the womenswear chain retailer, White House Black Market and Soma will also take a hit. The company has not yet revealed which locations it plans to shut down.
e.l.f. Cosmetics has decided to take the same path that many businesses are taking! It will be closing physical stores and then focusing more on e-commerce sales. By March, the beauty brand closed 22 stores. If you are a fan, don’t panic! You can still buy the products in drugstores or the official website.
J.C. Penney might be a mall staple for quite some time now, although this has not stopped the decline in its sales in the last couple of months. After experiencing a poor holiday season and a stock value decline, the company announced that it was going to shut down 18 department stores in 2020. Aside from that, it wants to close 9 furniture stores. This means that you can expect to see a total of 27 store closures.
Z Gallerie is an upscale home furniture company that has also applied for bankruptcy within the last couple of months. It still hopes that a buyer will come in to save it from total closure. At the moment, it plans to shut down 17 stores. These locations make up around a fifth of its total number of stores!
Destination Maternity Corp. plans to reduce its physical presence in the hope of improving sales by focusing on e-commerce sales instead. With the store closures it has in mind, you can expect to see 42 to 67 stores go before the end of the year. Apparently, this is done in the aim to avoid store expenses and improve online presence. According to USA Today, the company wants to open stores “with reduced square footage to drive higher productivity.”
In 2018, Beauty Brands announced its plans to shut down 25 stores. In January, it applied for bankruptcy after it reduced its corporate staff members. In the bankruptcy filing, the company said that it suffered from the high operating cost involved in being “a predominantly brick and mortar retailer.”
In February, gift and personalized item retailer Things Remembered finally found a buyer that will help it out. This happened after it applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, however. Enesco LLC ended up buying 176 locations from the retailer. Sadly, it was unable to save all 450 of its stores!
Lane Bryant, Dress Barn, Loft, and Anne Taylor are only some of the subsidiaries of Ascena Retail. The company has been seeing declining sales over the past years. To make up for it, the company wants to close hundreds of stores across its brands. There are approximately 667 stores up for closure. The plan was to close the first 400 of these by July.
Supermarkets have not been spared by the deluge of store closures. Southeastern Grocers is the operator of Bi-Lo, Harveys, and Winn-Dixie. It announced that it was going to close 22 stores by March 25. This came about less than a year after the parent company recovered from its bankruptcy filing. Back then, the bankruptcy resulted in the closure of 94 stores. Bi-Lo is set to suffer the most with 13 closures.
Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor managed to stay in the business for longer than a century! Sadly, it shut down the Fifth Avenue flagship store last year. It is tragic to hear that more stores are up for closure this year. Lord & Taylor will close as much as 10 more before the year ends. Stay tuned to hear which ones they are.
Just this March, Foot Locker Inc. said it will be closing 167 stores. It wants to heavily invest in its remaining locations by spending millions on them. This movie is part of its strategy to improve its profit margins. The shareholders of the shoe retailer were shocked by its good performance in Q4 last year.
Macy’s shut down 8 stores earlier this year. These closures are part of a series planned and announced several years ago. The plan affected two stores in California and one each in Indiana, New York, Virginia, Washington, Massachusetts, and Wyoming.
It seems like J. Crew has been all over the news lately. After losing its CEO late last year, the company will kick off 2020 by closing 6 stores in January. These closures come as a part of the plan they announced last summer. Overall, they want to close 30 stores! At the moment, they have not released the exact number of stores they need to close to meet their goals.
Kohl’s does not want to suffer the same problem that many other retailers have to deal with. This is the reason the company wants to close four stores located near or inside malls. The company said these were “lower performing” stores. It also said that the employees working there had been given severance pay or a job at a different branch. It seems like this was a preventive measure more than anything! Interestingly, it plans to open four smaller stores to offset the difference.
Michelle Obama is the previous first lady of the United States. She is a big fan of J. Crew, although it seems like we will be seeing less of the clothing retailer. Its sales have gone down in recent years, which is the primary reason for the closure. J. Crew had to bid adieu to its bridal stores and creative director Jenna Lyons. CEO Millard Drexler has also quit and said the issues are the result of raising prices.
99 Cents Only
99 Cents Only offers various products at discounted prices. It is a strong competitor of Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Walmart. In December 2017, the company suffered a net loss of $27.1 million on top of the $42.4 million loss it incurred in Q1 and Q2. Ares Management first purchased the 35-year-old company before it was purchased by Canada Pension Plan and, finally, a private family. Jack Sinclair, the new CEO, reported positive same-store sales. Sadly, this does not change the fact that it is on the decline.
GNC sells products related to nutrition and health, but it has not been a big hit among health-conscious millennials. In 2017, the gross revenue of the company actually fell by 3.4%. With billions’ worth of debt and a top-line sales and profits decline, GNC decided to channel its focus somewhere else. China boasts of a strong market and the e-commerce site is faring well. This is the reason they sold 40% of the shares to a pharma company in China. They will be in charge of the sale, distribution, and promotion there.
Fred’s Pharmacy had been hoping to increase the number of stores it had in the U.S. Sadly, the plan to increase it from 600 to 1,000 never materialized. The gross sales of the company went down by 4.3% in the span of a year, while the bottom line was said to be $139.3 million. The CFO of the company left in 2018, only to be replaced by a media executive. On top of that, Fred’s sold CVS for $40 million.
Stein Mart is a Jacksonville-based discount department store. Sadly, it has not been doing all that well lately. Even though they balanced their sales and improved digital revenue by 47% in 2017, they then reported a bottom-line loss of $23.4 million. Let us hope that things improve for them sooner than later.
In 2017, Office Depot is an office supplier that has seen a sales drop of 7%, which translates to $10.2 billion. CEO Gerry Smith has announced that the company will start offering services on top of retail sales. Apparently, it has already helped the top-line sales of the company. Office Depot offers a business-to-business service in the form of a subscription program called “BizBox”.
Vitamin Shoppe is facing the same problem that GNC is suffering from. It has improved its e-commerce business and plans to start offering a subscription service to fix those issues. In 2017, however, its top-line sales hit $1.2 billion, which translates to an 8.5% decline. It looks like the company is suffering from the decline of shopping malls and an increase in the number of competitors. Hopefully, the company will fare better with its category expansion, delivery services, and events marketing.
During the 2017 fiscal year, Neiman Marcus experienced a decline in top-line sales amounting to $4.7 billion. It was suggested that they lay off 200 employees and focus on a “Digital First” customer engagement plan. There had been rumors that Hudson’s Bay, a Canadian company, will acquire this high-end retailer. Sadly, this plan did not happen.
Bebe has been suffering when it comes to sales ever since 2007. That was the year that Neda Mashouf, its creative director, got a divorce from the founder of the company. Manny Mashouf developed the clothing retailer in 1979, although it has suffered from the general decline of shopping malls. In 2018, it reported an operating loss of $4.6 million. The company also shelled out $65 million to shut down the retail stores and focus solely on e-commerce instead.
Pier 1 Imports
During Q1 of 2018, Pier 1 Imports experienced a decline in its net sales. There was a 9.2% drop, which then translated to $371.9 million. As if this was not enough, the credit rating also suffered a drop courtesy of S&P Global analysts. To make matters even worse, the company took a hit from the 10% tariff President Donald Trump placed on Chinese goods. More than half of its goods come from China!
Land’s End is a clothing, home furnishings, and luggage brand. It is not as popular with this generation, it seems. The relationship between the company and Sears looks like it is the root of the problems the company is facing. Even though the sales of its catalog items are doing fine, the former CEO made huge mistakes.
Guitar Center was opened more than 50 years ago. Could it be that people no longer buy a lot of guitars? The instrument supplier had only a year left to pay off its debt of $900 billion. This was the result of the 36% sales drop it suffered from 2005 until 2016. Even though the company is facing all sorts of problems, it still wants to open more stores. The Executive President of merchandising and e-commerce announced that the company is merely in a state of transition but still going strong.
Nine West is a shoe retailer that is looking to restructure the company by selling parts and applying for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. All of this happened because it has a $1.5 billion debt. It has let go of its Easy Spirit brand and closed all stores save for 25 of them. The brand is now shying away from shoes and now focuses on jewelry and clothing brands like Anne Klein, Kasper Group, and One Jeanswear Group.
Who would have thought that fancy weddings and gowns would ever come to pass? These days, brides and grooms seem to prefer cheaper events and casual attire instead. This is bad news for David’s Bridal and other wedding gown shops. The brand has seen a rapid drop in sales. On top of this, they have a loan of $520 million that is due this year and unsecured notes worth $270 million due next year.
Bon-Ton is an online retailer and department store that has been around for a century now. However, it seems like it is not immune to the changing of the times. The store applied for bankruptcy last year. It was sold and then liquidated. Last year, it reopened its e-commerce site and a number of stores. Its decline is attributed to the rise of Amazon since it boomed in small towns with no competition.
It is common for companies to apply for bankruptcy when they fail to keep up with the changing interests of its consumers. The same thing happened to Tops Market, a grocery chain in the East Coast. Even though it applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, those living in New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania will still be able to visit a store. Most of the stores located in these states will stay open.
Cole Haan is a luxury footwear brand that used to be owned by Nike. In 2018, USA Today called it at risk. The company started to rebrand by choosing to focus more on athletic sneakers over dress shoes. Sadly, the plan backfired. In 2013, Apax Partners bought this brand. This meant that the footwear retailer no longer bears the famous comfort technology it enjoyed under Nike. Things have yet to improve.
Claire’s is an accessories and jewelry store first launched in 1961. It is a favorite among young girls in the United States. Recently, it ceased its IPO and applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It shuttered more than 130 stores across the country in May 2018. The rest might go to buyers and investors.
FullBeauty Brands Holdings Corp
FullBeauty Brands Holding Corp. is the owner of several plus-size men and women brands. Some of its subsidiaries are fullbeauty.com, ellos, Brylane Home, KingSize, Woman Within, and Jessica London. The company also blames Amazon for its declining sales. In Q1 of 2017, it saw a revenue decline of 30%. It has since replaced its lineup, so there is still some hope that the company will do better in the future.
Eddie Bauer is a Bellevue-based outdoors company that returned from its 2009 bankruptcy. Will it be able to do the same thing now? S&P Global recently downgraded its credit ranking thanks to its difficulties to keep up with trends. There is a good chance that the company will merge with Pacific Sunwear, also known as PacSun.
Bluestem Brands is a retailer of beauty, electronics, apparel, appliance, and health products. It has been called yet another at-risk company. It owns 13 e-commerce sites such as Appleseed’s, Fingerhut, Bedford Fair, Blair, Draper’s & Damon, and Gettingon.com. We can only hope that things will look up soon!
PetSmart Inc. is a huge pet product retailer that boasts of more than 1,500 stores across Puerto Rico, Canada, and the U.S. The $8 million debt it has can be traced back to the increasing popularity of Amazon and other e-commerce sites. It recently decided to invest $3.35 billion in Chewy, an e-commerce site of its own. This was a shocking amount. As a matter of fact, it is the most money any company has paid for an e-commerce site.
BKH Acquisition Corp.
BKH Acquisition Corp. is the company in charge of the operation of more than 100 Burger King stores in Puerto Rico. However, they have been included in the Distressed Company Alert list. The ongoing crisis happens because of its current credit struggles on top of the economic weakness of the island.
Fairly recently, Mattress Firm applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This was, in part, due to its accounting scandal that came to light. The company said that it plans to put 700 of its 3,500 stores on the market. It hopes to bounce back after ending prohibitive leases and restructuring.
National Stores is the company that owns Anna’s Linens, Fallas, and Conway. It recently applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It plans to cease operations in 74 locations all over Puerto Rico and the United States. National Stores probably took on too many brands, which caused it to go into debt.