With the rise of the e-commerce industry came the downfall of traditional physical stores. There have been plenty of closures among national and international brands, including department stores as of late. Over the past several years, a lot of retailers have shut down their brick-and-mortar stores at unprecedented rates. Sadly, the trend is expected to go up further in 2020. This covers all businesses from electronic stores to clothing lines to home goods! The stores on this list are all due to close some or all of their stores before the year comes to a close.
Payless ShoeSource boasts the highest number of store closures among all the companies that plan to close this year. The company plans to close more than 2,500 stores and hold clearance sales to do away with their goods and liquidate their stores. There are stores that will remain open until May, but the other ones are going to close by the last week of March.
Gymboree Group Inc is a children’s clothes retailer that filed for bankruptcy protection in mid January. They also made announcements about closing around 800 Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores across the United States and Canada. It has suspended online transactions and started liquidation sales in the stores as well. This is actually the second time that Gymboree has filed for bankruptcy in the span of two years. Just in 2017, the company halted operations in a number of stores.
In March 2019, Charlotte Russe has confirmed that the entire chain is going to shut down. Yes, it covers more than 500 stores across the nation. The company made an earlier announcement about the closure of 94 stores. The other ones closed down by April 30, 2019. The company already stopped online transactions, but it is still possible to buy products in the liquidation sales going on in specific locations.
Shopko first made an announcement about its plan to shut down 70 percent of stores by May 2019. However, they later changed their plans and intended to close all the stores permanently. In January 2019, Shopko applied for bankruptcy and hoped that a buyer could help it out of this mess. Sadly, it failed to get a buyer and tried to liquidate all its merchandise. It closed all locations by June 2019.
In the following two years, Gap is planning to shutter 230 stores, which is about half of its total locations all over the world. The company is planning to rebrand Old Navy, its sister company, as a totally separate business. They want to do this because Old Navy has outdone both Gap and Banana Republic when it comes to sales. The stores that remain in operation, including Hill City, Banana Republic, Gap, Athleta, and Intermix are going to stay open under the new name NewCo.
There is a chance that H&M will no longer be a mall staple after this year. It is planning to shut down 160 stores over the course of the year to optimize business. The decision was made because it was struggling in the American market. On the bright side, H&M is seeing steady growth abroad. With this in mind, the company is planning to open 355 stores in 2020. Even if this is true, the location of these new stores will primarily be outside of Europe and the United States.
In the summer of Starbucks announced that it will permanently shut down 150 underperforming stores. This is thrice the number that it normally closes during a fiscal year. The company, however, said that the closures will affect big cities with oversaturated markets. In those places, the coffee chain branches are just competing against one another.
The Children’s Place
By 2020, the Children’s Place initially planned to shutter 300 stores that were not performing very well. Forbes said that the children’s goods retailer already shut down 191 stores before the end of 2018 and still had plans to close more than 100 stores. The company is planning to invest a lot to boost its online presence in the hopes of increasing its profits.
If you are a cycling enthusiast, we have bad news for you. The biggest bike retailer in the country has shut down its operations. The last of its 104 locations shut down on March 2. Advanced Sports Enterprises applied for bankruptcy last fall. In the beginning, it hoped to save at least half of its locations by trying to renegotiate the leases. Sadly, it had no choice but to fold and close the company.
In 2018, Sears Holdings, which owns both Sears and Kmart, announced that it will close about 89 stores as of March 2019. They published a list of stores that they planned to shut down. It revealed that locations across the United States would be affected. Texas and Florida, however, felt the impact the most since 7 stores were closed in these two states.
Lowe’s is a famous retailer of home and garden supplies. The company has shut down 51 stores already, and they were all underperforming. The closures happened in 2019. It shut down 20 stores in the US and 31 in Canada. The company announced these plans at the end of 2018 and planned to complete the store closures by February 1, 2020. The move to shut down stores happened when longtime CEO Robert Niblock retired and got replaced by former J.C. Penney CEO Marvin R. Ellison.
Vera Bradley is rethinking its business operations by focusing on licensing and foregoing actual brick-and-mortar shops. The brand is thinking of selling home merch through retail chains such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Macy’s. It is also planning to shut down as much as 50 stores out of 110 by 2021. That is when many of the leases are due to expire. However, it is still possible to visit a physical store since 52 Vera Bradley factory outlets remain in operation.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch made the announcement that it was going to close 40 stores by February 2020. Nearly all of them were based in the United States. This number is a little more than the over 29 stores that it shut down in 2018. It is pretty bad. According to reports by Business Insider, the company spokesperson claimed that it is investing in the stores still in operation by “delivering approximately 85 new experiences, including 40 new stores, with continued reduction in overall square footage.”
Christopher & Banks
In late 2018, Christopher & Banks revealed that it was planning to close 30 to 40 stores until 2020. This does not, however, mean that the sales of the company are going downhill. The e-commerce business of the company has experienced an increase. On top of that, it is expected to go up some more this year!
Victoria’s Secret closed 30 stores in 2018. It planned to shut down even more stores than. Its parent company is called L Brand. In February 2019, it announced that it will close 53 more stores of the lingerie and womenswear retailer. The closures make up about 4 percent of its 1,143 stores across the globe.
In early 2020, Henri Bendel shut down all of its 24 stores across the nation. In the fall of 2018, the parent company L Brands announced that the entire brand, including its website and famous Fifth Avenue location, would be shut down. The company made the decision to focus on other brands that have higher potential such as Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.
Over the next 3 years, Chico’s FAS will shut down 250 stores. It is the parent company of Chico’s, the womenswear chain retailer. The stores affected by the closure include the namesake brand and two other brands: White House Black Market and Soma. The company has not yet confirmed which locations are going to cease operations, however.
Like the other businesses on the list, e.l.f. Cosmetics also has plans to shut down physical stores and focus on e-commerce instead. Twenty-two of its stores shut down by the end of March 2019. However, the patrons of this brand should not panic since it is still possible to purchase their products through the official website and in drugstores across the nation.
Dollar Tree is a discount retailer that said it is planning to shut down around 390 Family Dollar locations in 2020. It would mean that the clients now have to get their personal care items and other essential products elsewhere. This company also made the decision to rename around 200 branches. It is planning to implement other changes as well. Soon, they will try to up the prices of their products in a couple of stores.
J.C. Penney was a mall staple for several years, although it has also suffered a decline in its sales over the past several months. It dealt with a dry spell in the holiday season and saw a decrease in stock value. These things made the company announce the closure of 18 department stores in 2020. Not only that, but it is also planning to shut down 9 furniture stores. This means that it will close a total of 27 locations.
Z Gallerie is an upscale home furniture company. It is on the list of retailers that filed for bankruptcy as of late. Reports claim that the company is trying to look for a buyer that can save its fate. Until then, the company is shutting down 17 stores, which makes up about 20 percent of its stores across the country.
Destination Maternity Corp. plans to focus less on its retail presence so that it can revitalize the company and boost e-commerce sales instead. About 42 to 67 stores would be affected by the store closures that they are rolling out within the year. They did this in the hopes of reducing store expenses and expanding their online presence. According to USA Today, the company is also planning to open smaller locations “with reduced square footage to drive higher productivity.”
Beauty Brands let the world know that it was going to shut down 25 stores in 2018. In January of that year, the company filed for bankruptcy and reduced its corporate staff. During its application for bankruptcy, it said that the company was suffering from an increased operating cost since it was “a predominantly brick and mortar retailer.”
After Things Remembered applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2019, it found a buyer that helped save a number of stores. Enesco LLC purchased 176 locations from the retailer specializing in personalized items and engraved products. Even so, it was only able to save a small part. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, the company had 450 stores. This meant that 250 stores are due to be shut down.
What do Ann Taylor, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, and Loft all have in common? They all belong to the same parent company, Ascena Retail! The company has been suffering a decline in sales over the past few years. In order to make up for it, the company is planning to shut down hundreds of stores across all the brands. Around 667 locations are due to be closed. The first 400 of those happened in July 2019.
Supermarkets are also experiencing sales challenges. Southeastern Grocers, which is in charge of markets like Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, and Harveys, made the announcement that they would shut down 22 stores by March 25, 2019. This decision came less than one year after it recovered from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. During that time, the company had to close 94 stores. Among the three brands it owns, Bi-Lo is the one that is set to suffer the most since 13 locations are going to cease operation.
Lord & Taylor
After being in operation for over 100 years, Lord & Taylor decided to shut down the flagship store last year. It is the one located on Fifth Avenue. Sadly, more stores are going to close shop this year. Lord & Taylor is planning to shut down 10 more locations in 2020, but they have yet to announce which ones.
In March 2019, Foot Locker Inc. announced that it would shut down 167 stores. It planned to invest more and pour in millions of bucks in the remaining locations. This move was made to improve profit margins. The shareholders of the retailer were surprised that it did well during Q4 of 2018.
Macy’s shut down 8 stores in early 2019. The closures were only a fraction of the series of closures that they announced and planned several years ago. The plan affected two locations in California, as well as one store in the states of New York, Wyoming, Washington, Virginia, Indiana, and New York.
It sure feels like J. Crew is always in the news these days. After losing its CEO in 2018, the company kicked off 2020 by closing 6 stores in January. These closures are part of its plan to close 30 stores overall. They made the plan public last summer. However, we have yet to find out which locations they are planning to shut down in order to achieve their goals.
Kohl’s wanted to avoid suffering the same things that other mall retailers did, which is why the company is going to close 4 stores located in or near malls this year. The company said that they were “lower performing” stores and assured that the employees at those locations would get a severance package or a position at another shop. It looked like the closures were meant to be a preventive measure instead of a desperate need. The company plans to have the same number of shops by opening 4 smaller ones.
Former First Lady of America Michelle Obama is a big fan of J. Crew. Sadly, the company is still shutting down despite her patronage. The sales of the stores have gone done in the past years, and this is the main reason it is closing. The company has also bid adieu to creative director Jenna Lyons and its bridal store. CEO Mickey Drexler left the company as well. According to him, the bad news can be attributed to its increased prices.
99 Cents Only
99 Cents is a store that offers products at a low price. It is a competitor of brands like Dollar General, Walmart, and Dollar Tree. In December 2017, the company had a reported net loss of $27.1 million on top of its $42.4 million loss during the first and second quarters. This company was later bought out by Ares Management before it was sold to Canada Pension Plan and, finally, a private family. Jack Sinclair, the new CEO, reported positive same-store sales. Despite this, the discount store is still declining rapidly.
GNC, which sells nutrition and health products, found that its gross revenue declined by 3.4% in 2017. This happened even if there are more people interested in fitness and health. The company has billions of dollars in debt, so it had to focus on new things. It has a strong Chinese market and a good e-commerce business. This was the reason the company sold 40% of its shares to a Chinese company. It is also going to produce, sell, distribute, and promote GNC in the Asian country.
Fred’s Pharmacy tried to increase the number of its stores in the United States from 600 to 1,000. Sadly, this did not happen. The gross sales of the company went down by 4.3% from the fiscal year before that. The bottom line was also said to be $139.3 million. The CFO of the company left in 2018 and got replaced by a former media exec. Fred’s also decided to sell CVS, its specialty pharmacy, for $40 million.
Stein Mart is a discount department store based in Jacksonville. It has not been doing very well lately. Even though they did balance the sales and improved its digital revenue by 47% in 2017, the company still suffered a bottom-line loss of $23.4 million. We hope that it gets the help it needs ASAP.
Office Depot, the popular office supplier, has suffered a sales drop of 7% to $10.2 billion in 2017. CEO Gerry Smith wants to start offering services instead of simply focusing on retail sales. The change has increased the top-line sales of the company already! The retailer now offers “BizBox,” which is a business-to-business service in the form of a subscription program.
The Vitamin Shoppe is suffering issues similar to the one of GNC. They are focusing on e-commerce and working on a subscription service to ward off these problems. In 2017, the top-line sales reached $1.2 billion and suffered a drop of 8.5%. You can attribute the predicament to the decreasing popularity of shopping malls and the rise of competitors. We hope that they will soon be able to get out of the rut with their category expansions, delivery services, and marketing events!
During the 2017 fiscal year, Neiman Marcus witnessed a decrease of 5% in its $4.7 billion top-line sales. There are suggestions to let go of 200 employees and make a “Digital First” customer engagement plan. Rumor had it that Hudson’s Bay, a Canadian company, wanted to buy it. Sadly, this did not happen.
The sales of Bebe started to go down when Neda Mashouf, the creative director and wife of founder Manny Mashouf, left the company. The brand was developed in 1979. With the decline of shopping malls, the company had to deal with many problems. In 2018, Bebe suffered an operating loss of $4.6 million. On top of this, it paid out $65 million to shut down retail stores and focus on e-commerce.
Pier 1 Imports
During Q1 of 2018, the company went through a 9.2% decline in net sales. This translated to $371.9 million year-to-year. This was not the only problem because its credit rating was also downgraded by S&P global analysts. It did not help that President Donald Trump placed a 10% tariff on Chinese goods either. After all, more than half of Pier 1 Imports products are manufactured over there!
This clothing, home furnishings, and luggage brand is not as popular as it used to be. The problems of Land’s End seem to be rooted in its association with Sears. Even though the sales of its catalog items are still going strong, it looks like Federica Marchionni, the former CEO, made several irreversible errors during her time.
Guitar Center has been the go-to place for rock ‘n’ roll instruments for more than 50 years now. Sadly, it was given just one year to pay off its debt of $900 billion. This was the result of its 36% decline in sales from 2005 up to 2016. Even though they have been dealing with certain problems, they are still planning to open new stores! According to the Executive Vice President of merchandising and e-commerce, the company was merely in a transition state but still going strong.
Nine West wants to restructure its debts by selling off parts of the company and applying for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This all happened thanks to its $1.5 billion debt. The shoe retailer decided to let go of its Easy Spirit brand and closed all stores but 25. The brand is also planning to focus more on jewelry and clothing brands such as Anne Klein, One Jeanswear Group, and Kasper Grouper.
It looks like fancy gowns and expensive wedding ceremonies are no longer common these days. More brides are opting for cheaper weddings and more casual dresses. This is not good for wedding gown retailers like David’s Bridal. This brand is suffering a rapid sales decline. On top of this, they have a loan of $520 million, as well as unsecured notes worth $270 million, due in 2020.
Online retailer and department store Bon-Ton might have stuck around for a century, but it is time to say goodbye. The store applied for bankruptcy in the past year and then liquidated its stores. In 2018, however, it reopened for e-commerce and relaunched a few stores. They had great success in the beginning since they operated in small towns with little competition. Amazon, of course, changed that.
A company often applies for bankruptcy when it fails to keep up with the changing interests of its consumers. This was what happened to Tops Market, the grocery chain based on the East Coast. Even though it filed for bankruptcy protection, people in New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania can still go to the store since it is planning to keep operations running in these states.
Cole Haan is a luxury footwear brand that was on the list of at-risk companies published by USA Today in 2018. It started to change its image by focusing less on dress shoes and more on athletic footwear. Sadly, this backfired. In 2013, Apax Partners bought this brand and did away with the famous comfort tech of Nike. Unfortunately, things have yet to improve for the company.
Claire’s is an accessories store that was established in 1961. It was the favorite store of many young American girls for a long time. The company, however, ceased IPO and applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018. In May that year, it shuttered more than 130 stores across the country.
FullBeauty Brands Holdings Corp
FullBeauty Brands Holding Corp is the owner of several plus-size women and men clothing lines. It owns labels such as Jessica London, Roaman’s, Brylane Home, ellos, Woman Within, fullbeauty.com, and KingSize. They are putting the blame on Amazon for the decline in sales. In Q1 of 2017, it suffered a 30% revenue drop. With new people in charge, the company hopes to improve sales and do things right.
Eddie Bauer is an outdoor company based in Bellevue. In 2009, it bounced back from its bankruptcy. We don’t know what is next for the company. It suffered a credit ranking downgrade at the hands of S&P Global as well. There is a good chance that it will merge with California-based company PacSun.
Bluestem Brands is an apparel, appliance, health product, electronics, and beauty retailer. It is yet another at-risk company. It is the owner of 13 e-commerce sites such as Fingerhut, Fair, Appleseed, Bedford, Draper’s & Damon’s, Blair, and Gettingon.com. We hope that things work out for them!
PetSmart Inc. is a pet product retailer with more than 1,500 stores across Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States. They have a debt of $8 million, which can be attributed to the rise of the e-commerce industry. Consumers now like to rely on Amazon instead. Recently, PetSmart spent $3.35 billion on an e-commerce site called Chewy, but it only made the debt go up. It is the most expensive e-commerce site!
BKH Acquisition Corp.
BKH Acquisition Corp. operates more than 100 Burger King joints in Puerto Rico. Sadly, they were also added to a list known as the Distressed Company Alert. The current crisis has something to do with ongoing credit issues and the economic problems of the place.
Unfortunately, our favorite mattress retailer recently applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Part of it is due to an accounting issue. The company made the announcement that it will put 700 of its 3,500 stores on the market. They hope to turn things around by ending excessive leases and restructuring the company.
National Stores is the owner of Anna’s Linens, Fallas, and Conway. It recently applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is going to cease operations in more than 74 locations in Puerto Rico and the United States. This might have something to do with the debt it racked up by taking on too many brands.