Traditional physical stores definitely suffered a lot when the e-commerce industry boomed. We’ve seen a lot of closures among international and national brands as well as department stores. In the past few years, many retailers with physical stores have shut down their businesses at record-breaking speed. Unfortunately, this sad trend is predicted to surge in 2020, making a huge decline in basically all types of businesses from clothing lines, to electronics, to home goods. Here is a list of companies that are closing some, if not all, of their stores in 2020.
Among all businesses that would close their stores this year, Payless ShoeSource has the most number of store closures. The company is closing over 2,500 stores, where clearance sales are currently going on to get rid of their goods and liquidate. While some stores will stay open until May, the other stores will close as early as the last week of March.
Gymboree Group Inc., the children’s clothing retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the middle of January. They have also announced that they will close approximately 800 Crazy 8 and Gymboree stores across Canada and the U.S. It has since stopped accepting any online transactions, but the stores are still undergoing liquidation sales. This is Gymboree’s second time to file for bankruptcy in two years. In 2017, it ceased operation in several of its stores.
Charlotte Russe just confirmed in March that the whole chain will close. This covers over 500 stores nationwide. The company had an announcement earlier regarding the closure of 94 of its stores. The other remaining stores finally closed on April 30. They had already stopped its online sales although people could still buy products on-site during their liquidation sales in several locations.
After Shopko announced its intent to close around 70 percent of its stores by May, it changed its announcement by that it would be closing all its stores for good. In January, Shopko filed for bankruptcy and was hoping for a buyer to help salvage its remaining stores. Unfortunately, it didn’t find a buyer and it now plans to get rid of its merchandise to liquidate and close all locations by June of this year.
In the next two years, Gap Inc. will close approximately 230 of its stores – around half of the total number of its locations – around the world. The company wants to revamp Old Navy, Gap’s sister company, as a separate business. This is because Old Navy has continuously outdone both Banana Republic and Gap in sales. The stores which are still open like Intermix, Athleta, Hill City, Banana Republic, and Gap stores will continue their operations as NewCo, their new name.
H&M might lose its place as the mall staple after 2020. It will close 160 store locations within the year in their effort to optimize business. This move has been decided due to the struggling market for the brand in the U.S. It is, however, experiencing a steadier growth overseas. Having thought about this, the company plans to set up 355 new stores in 2020. However, the location of the said stores will be mostly outside of the United States and Europe.
Last summer, Starbucks announced its plan to permanently close its 150 underperforming stores in 2020. That number is thrice the usual number that it closes every fiscal year. The company also announced that the closures will mostly affect oversaturated markets and big cities, where branches of this coffee chain are competing against each other.
The Children’s Place
Previously, The Children’s Place announced its plan to shut down 300 stores that weren’t performing well by 2020. Forbes reports that this children’s goods retailer had already closed 191 of its stores before 2018 ended and it still has over 100 stores to close. The Children’s Place is also investing a lot of money on boosting its presence online to increase its profits.
This is bad news for cyclists because the country’s biggest bike retailer has closed for good. All of its 104 stores have been shuttered, with the last one closed on March 2. Last fall, its parent company Advanced Sports Enterprises filed for bankruptcy. At first, it was hoping to save at least 50 percent of the bicycle retailer’s locations by renegotiating their leases. However, it ultimately had to fold and shut down the brand altogether.
Early this year, Sears Holdings, the company that owns both Kmart and its namesake stores, announced that it will close around 89 stores by March this year. The list of stores that were closed indicated that locations across the U.S. were affected. Florida and Texas seem to have felt most of the impact as 7 stores were shut down in both states.
Vera Bradley is reconsidering its business strategy, focusing on licensing instead of having actual, physical stores. The brand will sell its home merchandise through other retail chains like Macy’s and Bed Bath and Beyond. The company also plans to close as many as 50 of its 110 stores by 2021, when a lot of its leases are reported to expire. However, customers may still get the chance to visit a Vera Bradley store as the company’s factory outlets, 52 of them in fact, are still open.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch announced that it is closing 40 of its stores by next February, most of which are in the United States. That number is slightly more than the 29 stores that it already closed in 2018. However, it’s all bad. Business Insider reports that the company spokesperson said that Abercrombie & Fitch will still continue investing in its remaining stores by “delivering approximately 85 new experiences, including 40 new stores, with continued reduction in overall square footage.”
Christopher & Banks
In late 2018, the womenswear retailer Christopher & Banks revealed its plans to shut down around 30 to 40 of its stores in the next two years. However, this does not imply that the sales across the board are on a decline. The company’s e-commerce business has seen an increase and is expected to continue rising this year.
In 2018, Victoria’s Secret ceased operations in 30 of its stores, and it plans to close more stores this year. Its parent company L Brand announced in February that it will close 53 more stores of the womenswear and lingerie retailer. The closures cover around 4 percent of Victoria Secret’s 1,143 stores around the world.
In early 2020, all of Henri Bendel’s two dozen stores nationwide closed. In the fall of 2018, its parent company L Brands had announced that Henri Bendel’s stores – including its iconic location on Fifth Avenue, New York – as well as its website, would be closing. The company had decided to focus its other brands with higher potential which includes Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret.
In the course of the next three years, Chico’s FAS, the parent company of the womenswear chain retailer Chico’s, will close 250 of its stores. The affected stores include its namesake brand as well as its two other brands, Soma and White House Black Market. The company has yet to confirm the exact locations of the stores which are up for closure.
Like many other businesses, e.l.f. Cosmetics is also closing its physical stores and will focus more on its e-commerce sales. Twenty-two of the beauty brand’s stores were closed by the end of March. But this brand’s patrons need not panic, they can still avail of e.l.f. products through their official website as well as in various drugstores across the country.
The discount retailer Dollar Tree has stated that it will close approximately 390 Family Dollar stores in 2020. This would force its clients to look for another store where they could buy personal care products and other essential items. The company has also decided to rename the brand of around 200 branches. It may not be the only change that they will implement. They are soon going to try charging their customers more than $1 in several stores.
J.C. Penney has enjoyed its position as a mall staple for years, but just like other retailers, it has experienced a decrease in sales in the last few months. After it experienced a dry spell during the holiday season and a decline in its stock value, the company finally announced that it would be closing 18 of its department stores in 2020. Also, it will close 9 of its furniture stores, bringing the total number of store closures to 27.
This upscale home furniture company is also one of the numerous retailers which filed for bankruptcy in the last few months. Z Gallerie is reported to be hoping to find a buyer to help save it. But in the meantime, it will shut down 17 of its stores which is around 20 percent of the total number of its stores nationwide.
Destination Maternity Corp. is going to reduce its retail presence as an attempt to revitalize the company as well as boost its e-commerce sales. Around 42 to 67 stores will be affected by the closures which will happen within the year. These closures aim to reduce store expenses and expand the company’s online presence. USA Today reports that the company also plans to try opening smaller stores “with reduced square footage to drive higher productivity.”
Beauty Brands announced their plans to close 25 store locations back in 2018. In January, the company, which also reduced the number of its corporate staff, filed for bankruptcy. When it filed for bankruptcy, it stated that the company suffered from the increasing operating cost as “a predominantly brick and mortar retailer.”
After it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, Things Remembered found a buyer to help save some of its stores across the country. Enesco LLC bought 176 locations from this retailer that specializes in engraved products and personalized items. Still, the purchase only saved a small part of the company. It originally had 450 stores at the time that it filed for bankruptcy, which means that more than 250 stores will be up for closure.
Ascena Retail is the parent company of some different women’s clothing brand which includes Ann Taylor, Loft, Dress Barn, and Lane Bryant. Overall, the total sales of the company have been declining in recent years. To make up for the loses, the company plans to shutter hundreds of its stores in all of its brands. Approximately 667 locations are up for closure in total, the first 400 of which are expected to be closed by July of this year.
Even supermarkets are experiencing some challenges in sales. Southeastern Grocers, which operates markets such as Harveys, Bi-Lo, and Winn-Dixie, announced their plans of closing 22 stores by March 25 of this year. The decision to close some of its stores happened less than a year after Southeastern Grocers recovered from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Initially, the bankruptcy caused the closure of 94 of its stores. Bi-Lo, out of the three brands, will suffer the most as 13 of its stores would be shuttered.
Lord & Taylor
After lasting in business for more than 100 years, Lord & Taylor shuttered its flagship store located on Fifth Avenue last year. Unfortunately, more stores are up for closures this year. Lord & Taylor will close up to 10 more stores in 2020, but they have yet to announce which store locations are to be shuttered.
In March, Foot Locker Inc. announced the closure of 167 of its stores. It will invest heavily in its remaining locations, spending millions in the process. The move is an attempt to improve its profit margins. The shoe retailer’s shareholders were surprised by its good performance in last year’s fourth quarter.
Macy’s closed 8 of its stores in the early part of this year. The closures are just part of the series of closures that they have planned and announced a few years back. This plan will affect two places in California and one store in each of these states: Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
J.Crew seems to make the headlines often these days. After it lost its CEO in late 2018, the company started 2020 by shutting down 6 of its stores in January. The closures are part of a current plan to shut down 30 stores. This plan was made public last summer. However, the exact number of locations which are up for closure to meet their goals is still unknown.
To avoid going to the same struggles as other retailers located in malls, Kohl’s is planning to close four of its stores which are either located inside or near malls in 2020. The company stated that these stores were “lower performing” and that the employees of the said locations were either offered severance pay or a job at another Kohl’s shop. However, it appears that the closures are more of a means to prevent any disaster than an urgent need. The company will continue to operate the same number of shops by opening four smaller ones.
Michelle Obama, the former first lady of America, is a huge fan of J. Crew, but unfortunately, her go-to clothing source is shutting down. The stores’ sales have plummeted in recent years, the main reason for its closing. J. Crew has also said goodbye to its bridal store and coveted creative director Jenna Lyons. The CEO, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, also left the company, claiming raising prices is to thank for the bad news in paradise.
99 Cents Only
99 Cents Only offers products at a discounted price, competing with big names such as Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Dollar General. In December of 2017, the company reported a $27.1 million net loss, in addition to a $42.4 million loss incurred in the first and second quarters. The 35-year-old company was eventually sold to Ares Management, eventually making its way to Canada Pension Plan and then to a private family. The new CEO Jack Sinclair reported some positive same-store sales, but unfortunately, 99 Cents Only is declining, fast.
GNC sells health and nutrition related products, but even with the uptick of people looking to get fit, the company’s gross revenue fell 3.4% in 2017. With debt in the billions and a drop in its top-line sales and profits, GNC turned their focus elsewhere. With a strong market in China and an e-commerce site that boasts good numbers, they have decided to sell 40% of shares to a Chinese pharma company. This company will produce, promote, sell and distribute GNC’s products in China.
Fred’s Pharmacy attempted to increase its stores around the U.S. from 600 to 1,000, but it never ended up happening. The company’s gross sales dropped 4.3% from the previous fiscal year, and its bottom line was reported to be $139.3 million. Fred’s CFO left the company in 2018, making the former media executive the guy in charge. Fred’s then sold its specialty pharmacy, CVS, for $40 million.
Jacksonville-based discount department store, Stein Mart doesn’t seem to be doing well as of late. Although they did balance their sales and increased their digital revenue by 47% in 2017, they reported a $23.4 million bottom-line loss. We hope they seek the help of some financial advisors, quick.
Office supplier Office Depot has seen a 7% sales drop to $10.2 billion in 2017. Instead of primarily focusing on retail sales, CEO Gerry Smith says they will also start providing services. This change has already increased the company’s top-line. Office Depot also offers a business-to-business service called “BizBox”, a subscription program.
The Vitamin Shoppe is seeing similar issues that GNC is. They have repped up their e-commerce business and have a subscription service in the works, as well, to combat these problems. But, in 2017, its top-line sales were $1.2 billion, an 8.5% drop. The decreased popularity of malls, as well as the increase in competitors, is the reason Vitamin Shoppe is in this predicament today. Hopefully expanding their categories, starting delivery services, and doing marketing events will help pull them out of the rut.
In the 2017 fiscal year, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus saw its top-line sales decrease to $4.7 billion, a 5% drop. Some suggested strategies were to cut 200 jobs and create a customer engagement plan called “Digital First”. It was rumored that Canadian company Hudson’s Bay would possibly acquire the high-end stores, but plans later fell through.
Ever since 2007, when creative director Neda Mashouf left the company and divorced her husband Manny Mashouf, Bebe sales have declined. Manny developed the brand in 1979, but with the current decline of malls and their popularity, the company has faced setbacks. In 2018, the operating loss was reportedly $4.6 million. The company decided to pay out $65 million to close its retail stores and focus on e-commerce.
Pier 1 Imports
In the first quarter of 2018, Pier 1 Imports saw a 9.2% drop in net sales, translating to $371.9 million year-to-year. If that wasn’t a big enough hit, their credit rating was decreased by S&P Global analysts. Current President Donald Trump’s 10% tariff on all Chinese goods is another reason for their downfall since over half of their products are made in China.
The clothing, luggage and home furnishings brand, Lands’ End, isn’t as popular with customers as it once was in the past. The company’s association with Sears seems to be the root of all its problems. Although the brand’s sales of catalog items are strong, former CEO Federica Marchionni made some irreversible mistakes.
Guitar Center has been around for over 50 years, but it seems people buy fewer guitars nowadays. The rock ‘n’ roll instrument supplier was given one year to pay a $900 billion debt, the result of a 36% drop in sales from 2005 to 2016. Although they’re facing some issues as of late, they still plan to open new stores. The Executive Vice President of merchandising and e-commerce said the company was in a transition state and is still going strong.
Shoe retailer Nine West is currently looking to restructure by selling parts of the company and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, all thanks to a debt of $1.5 billion. They have decided to let their Easy Spirit brand go, and closed all but 25 stores. The brand will also shy away from shoes and focus more on clothing and jewelry with brands like Kasper Grouper, Anne Klein, and One Jeanswear Group.
Expensive weddings and fancy gowns are a thing of the past. More and more brides are choosing cheaper events and more casual attire, meaning bad news for wedding gown shops like David’s Bridal. The brand is experiencing a rapid decline in sales and on top of that, they have a $520 million loan due in 2020 and $270 million of unsecured notes due by 2020.
Department store and online retailer Bon-Ton has been around for 100 years, but all good things must come to an end. The store filed for bankruptcy last year, and was then sold and liquidated. But in 2018 it re-opened for e-commerce as well as the re-launch of a few stores. They were first successful because they were in small towns with zero competition, then Amazon came along and changed things.
A company usually files for bankruptcy when they don’t keep up with their consumer’s changing interests. This is exactly what happened with East Coast grocery chain Tops Market. Although they did file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, people living in Pennsylvania, Vermont and NY can still enjoy the chain for now, as most of its stores in these states will remain open.
Nike-owned luxury footwear brand Cole Haan made USA Today’s list of companies most at risk in 2018. Cole Haan began to change their image by focusing more on athletic shoes instead of dress shoes, but this just back-fired. When Apax Partners bought the brand in 2013, they decided to do away with Nike’s famous comfort technology. They don’t seem to be improving whatsoever.
Accessories store Claire’s was first established in 1961, a favorite of young girls around the United States. The company recently ceased IPO and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. As of May 2018, Claire’s shut down over 130 stores across the nation. The rest will go to potential buyers and investors.
FullBeauty Brands Holdings Corp
FullBeauty Brands Holding Corp owns brands for plus-size men and women. Woman Within, fullbeauty.com, Jessica London, ellos, Roaman’s, Brylane Home, and KingSize are just some of the labels. They blame Amazon for their declining sales, with a revenue drop of 30% in the first quarter of 2017. With some new people in power, they are hoping to turn a new leaf and increase sales again.
Bellevue-based outdoor company Eddie Bauer came back from bankruptcy in 2009, but who knows what’s next. Their credit ranking was recently downgraded by S&P Global, the aftermath of difficulties keeping up with trends. Eddie Bauer will most likely merge with California-based Pacific Sunwear aka PacSun.
Appliance, apparel, electronics, beauty, and health product retailer Bluestem Brands has been named an at-risk company. They own 13 e-commerce sites like Bedford, Appleseed’s, Fingerhut, Fair, Draper’s & Damon’s, Gettingon.com, and Blair. Let’s hope they put a plan into action soon!
Pet product retailer PetSmart Inc. has over 1,500 stores across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. They’re $8 million in debt can be attributed to the e-commerce market and more consumers turning to sites like Amazon. PetSmart did recently buy an e-commerce site, Chewy, but the hefty $3.35 billion price tag only made their debt sky-rocket even more. Can you believe that’s the highest a company has ever paid for an e-commerce site?
BKH Acquisition Corp.
BKH Acquisition Corp. is in charge of over 100 Burger King chains in Puerto Rico. But, they were unfortunately placed on a list called the Distressed Company Alert. Their current crisis is due to their ongoing credit struggles, as well as the economic weakness of the country.
Everyone’s favorite mattress store has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, partly due to an accounting scandal. The company announced that they will place 700 of its total 3,500 stores up for sale. Their hope is to end unnecessary leases and try to restructure the company.
The company that owns Conway, Anna’s Linens, and Fallas has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Operations in over 74 over their U.S. and Puerto Rico stores will cease soon. National Stores may have taken on too many brands in recent years, placing them in an enormous amount of debt.
This famous home and garden retailer has closed 51 of its stores already – all of which were underperforming. The closure happened this year – 20 stores in the United States and 31 in Canada. Lowe’s already announced its plans by the end of 2018 and had set the target completion of store closures on February 1, 2020. This move to close stores happened immediately after Marvin R. Ellison, former CEO of J.C. Penney, took over the reins of the company, after Robert Niblock, Lowe’s longtime CEO, retired.