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Shopping in malls and physical locations are becoming less and less common. The fact is, online shopping is more convenient, often cheaper, and boasts a selection no bricks and mortar store can compare to. With competition like Amazon Prime, NewEgg, and other easy to access options, standing stores aren't getting the customers or the income they once were. Even industry giants like Kohl's are planning to close stores in 2019 after what was a disappointing 2018 holiday season.
Like Toys 'R Us, stores on this list are either in danger of or have already made the decision to close their doors for good. Some are simply choosing to move away from malls and shopping centers and put the bulk of their business in online retail. While this may seem sad, keep in mind that the shuttering of physical stores is partly because small businesses and designers can now reach consumers directly. People can list their garage and basement manufactured clothes on Amazon, sell on eBay, and take advantage of niche sites like Etsy. The focus has shifted to shopping locally, sustainably, and putting money in the pockets of small businesses over massive corporations.
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In February, Payless announced that each of its over 2,000 stores in the United States would be permanently closing. Some locations will have their final day in March of 2019 while most others will remain open and busy with liquidations sales until May. Even its online store will close for American shoppers. However, the brand won't be erased completely. Its international stores are slated to remain open, for now. Payless made several attempts to save itself, first declaring bankruptcy and closing some stores over a decade ago. They increased BOGO offers and restructured the company. Apparently, their efforts were only a short term fix.
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The teen and young adult clothing store where you could get cheap heels and badly made but super cute crop tops is closing all stores in 2019. This "first job" mall staple store has over 500 locations currently in the throes of liquidation sales. Grit Daily says, "The closing of Charlotte Russe means the loss of nearly 8,700 jobs, and only 1,400 of those were part-time." Yikes! This aspect of store closures is probably the most regrettable since online retailers aren't as good as physical locations at offering competitive salaried positions. The stores are expected to close before the summer of 2019.
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This store, with its signature flagship location in New York and legendary appearances on Sex and the City, closed in January of 2019. It's been assumed that the designer bags will now become collectors items, so those who have them should hold onto them (or at least make sure when these seven essentials are in it, they're clean). The worth of those products may skyrocket in the coming years. Where will poor Blake Lively get her fix now? The actress has been a vocal admirer of the Bendel brand for years. At least she has the resources to stock up now that the brand is defunct.
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K-mart was once considered one third of the "big three" stores with competitors Walmart and Target. Now, K-mart is becoming a less and less regular sight. Last year, the retail chain closed 150 of its locations. In 2019, it's slated to close another 50. K-mart is owned by Sears, another struggling company and one that has filed bankruptcy itself. Not only does this mean the company probably doesn't have the money to pour back into making K-mart solvent, but K-mart faces a growing and often unconsidered competitor, dollar stores.
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One of our favorites is biting the dust. At the end of September, the fast-fashion retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a press release announced. The store will be closing 178 locations in the United States and nearly 350 overall, reported The New York Times. “This was an important and necessary step to secure the future of our Company, which will enable us to reorganize our business and reposition Forever 21,” said Executive Vice President of Forever 21, Linda Chang. “What we’re hoping to do with this process is just to simplify things so we can get back to doing what we do best,” Chang told the The New York Times.
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"I like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch..." except those girls are going to have a harder time buying those clothes at physical stores. Why? Abercrombie has announced its decision to close 40 stores in the next year, adding to the already extensive list of just under 500 stores it's already shut down. However, Abercrombie isn't necessarily going the same way as Payless. The chain is investing in newly restructured stores that are more cost-efficient and online sales. These stores tend to be smaller, with less of a mall footprint, and a more open plan. Abercrombie also promoted its new designer, Aaron Levine, who hopes to return the company to its adventurous beginnings.
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The children's clothing store, which also owns the Crazy 8 chain, is officially closing its doors after filing for bankruptcy for a second time. All their products will be liquidated, so get out there and get your kids' essentials now. Gymboree has the Janie & Jack brand under the same company, a high-end brand that the corporation is trying to save by selling to interested buyers. Gymboree had been in retail operations since the mid-1980s when mall culture was exploding. Like many other stores, Gymboree suffered from a lack of foot traffic in malls and shopping centers around the country in recent years.
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Money.com described ShopKo as, "the department store of rural America." It won't be for much longer, though. The chain of over 300 stores that combined retail sales and healthcare services like walk-in clinics and eye care centers is going belly up in 2019. The store will sell off its pharmacy and optical equipment and liquidate all clothing and household items. Like many stores on this list, ShopKo couldn't compete with direct-to-home online sales. ShopKo was a retailer of Payless shoes, another member of this list that will shut its doors for the last time in 2019. At closing, the store will be leaving all 24 states it had locations in.
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The lingerie store has announced that in 2019 it will close more than 50 stores nationwide, like due to a trend in underwear fashion right now. Designs are edging away from the barely-there look to comfort and inclusivity (think of the explosion of Savage X and ThirdLove). Also, the brand has recently been plagued by controversy. After the 2018 Victoria Secret fashion show, the company's chief marketing officer said that the show had no plans to incorporate plus size or trans models since they don't represent the brand's idea of "fantasy." Because those people don't wear underwear? Hm... Also, Victoria Secret tried to roll out a marketing campaign called "Perfect Body." Since all the women were model-sized (six feet tall and under 130 lbs) in the campaign, the stores came under fire for promoting an unrealistic ideal.
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Tesla Motors, the company famously spearheaded by Elon Musk, has announced that it will move the totality of its sales to the web. All Tesla showrooms will be closing soon, although currently the staff has been told they will remain on the payroll for the time being. The first closings began on March 3rd, 2019 and more will come as the year progresses. For now, any scheduled test drives are either being conducted at the expected stores or rescheduled to others that are not in the process of closing up yet. This probably doesn't spell the end for Tesla, though. Just last year the brand was named the top plug-in electric car brand internationally.
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Gap has made the decision to close 50 of its stores and the company has also announced that it will be splitting in two, separating its other brands from Old Navy. Old Navy is the newer of the brands, hitting the scene in the mid-'90s vs. Gap's late-60s appearance. Banana Republic is also owned by the same company and will move with Gap into the separation with Old Navy. The main area Gap is focusing on is stores in shopping malls... which are suffering from fewer sales and less foot traffic. The company said that, at the remaining stores, it would look into customer experience and bringing that into modern expectations.
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In 2017, Chico's closed just under 50 stores. In 2019, that number is going to inflate by 250 more. The company's CEO said the brand will look to increase "flexibility" by moving more sales online. Chico's also has stores in Canada and Mexico, though it's unclear if any of those are on the list of expected closures. The store, which caters to a more mature clientele than its other arm White House, Black Market, made Forbes' 'Retailers On Life Support' list in 2018. Being named by Forbes is usually an awesome thing, but this is one list we're sure the brand would have liked to avoid.
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The Guess brand has been suffering for a while. In the past two years, Guess has closed hundreds of stores across the US. Interestingly, while you may be losing your local Guess, growth abroad for the company is going strong. What was Guess' peak foray into American relevance? Obviously, it came when they designed Marty McFly's jeans in Back To The Future. This isn't the brand's first issue making money in the States, however. Back in the '90s, the brand was embroiled in a sweatshop scandal that included allegations that it was responsible for 80 overseas manufacturing sites that broke just about every labor law in the books.
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Despite their legacy for sexy ads (something a ton of stores on this list share), Calvin Klein has seen years of decreasing sales. Therefore, the brand is going bunk. Calvin Klein is no longer going to exist. The brand says it will be embracing a new name as well as new sales strategies. The flagship New York store will be closed by Spring 2019. This was the last year that Calvin Klein would show at a New York fashion week, as well. Celebrities wearing Calvin Klein on the red carpet, names like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Lupita Nyong'o, weren't able to save the high-end brand.
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More Michael Kors stores will be closing in 2019. Its namesake said, "A man in a well-tailored suit will always shine brighter than a guy in an off-the-rack suit." We understand the sentiment, but like many high-end brands, Michael Kors is struggling to be relevant to working-class buyers. The company has partnered with Amazon to sell watches on the site, signaling that the move to more concentrated online sales may be in the works. Michael Kors stock has dipped dramatically in the past years, and Wall Street gurus have predicted ongoing losses. Other top-of-the-line handbag retailers have reported similar trends.
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The jewelry juggernaut is planning to close hundreds of stores by the end of the year, most of them in malls. While it initially seemed like jewelry sales saw a surge during the last holiday season, Zales didn't get the slice of the pie they'd hoped to. Even Disney's Enchanted collection couldn't save the shops, and Disney's touch is gold in nearly all industries. Zales is owned by Signet, who also own Jared's brand. Jared's is faring even worse, so things are definitely not looking up for the company. Kay Jewelers, another arm of Signet, has many stores by the Jared's and Zales that are closing. Therefore, the company is hoping that sales move toward those locations so that money isn't lost, but square footage is.
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Ann Taylor Loft and Lane Bryant are owned by the same parent company. The career-focused retailer started closing stores in 2017 and will close even more in 2019. Their goal is to get to 660+ closures. Ann Taylor Loft has attempted to reboot its image with social media, which includes using the Instagram hashtag #loveloft. Ann Taylor Loft has locations in 46 states and a large number of outlets. Some of these stores offer maternity clothing, which we know can be both specialized and expensive. If your local Loft is closing, and you're in need of these pieces, grab up the deals while you can.
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The Children's Place is one of those stores that are like dreamland for kids because their clothes are so cute. Parents like the shop, too, because the clothes are comfortable and affordable. The store is feeling the hit of online sites and the down spiral of mall culture so it has been trying to close down 300 stores by 2020. They started during the past few years and they're on track to close around 40-45 stores in 2019, with the remaining 45 being scheduled to close next year.
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Starbucks are all over the place and nearly on every corner in some places. But the signs of the times are showing because even this well-loved coffee shop is feeling the heat. According to news reports, over 150 Starbucks locations are set to close down this year. It's not unusual for the company to shut down about 50 of these stores each year, so having it be three times that amount is a lot. The company is going to be looking into the weaker stores that aren't making as much revenue, and those are likely to be ones to shut down.
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Bad news came in May 2019 for people who love and work at Dressbarn. News sources say the company, owned by Ascena Retail Group, has announced major closures of their stores. NBC reports 650 Dressbarn stores will close their doors for business, though not immediately. NBC stated, "Customers will be able to continue to shop from Dressbarn stores and online, as the closures won’t take place immediately. It hasn’t outlined an exact timeline for the winding-down process of the business." That said, Dressbarn will be gone soon, so stock up if it’s one of your go-to shops.
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Discount chain Fred's announced in May that they are closing doors to most, if not all, of their stores. USA Today reports the company is closing 104 of their "underperforming" stores in an "ongoing effort to rationalize its store footprint." All the stores impacted by the closures are expected to be fully closed by the end of June.
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J.C. Penney is closing 18 department stores and nine home and furniture shops in 2019. It was first estimated that the brand would close 100 stores in the year, but reports are showing a much smaller number. NBC said, "[The] retailer is still operating more than 800 locations across the country, and that’s likely too many, as fewer shoppers head to antiquated malls to shop." The management at the company did reveal that more store closures could happen in 2020.
You'd think that stores like Family Dollar are impervious to the curse of the brick-and-mortar retail stores. After all, they specialize in cheap goods and are the go-to for everything from school supplies to party planning. We love a good bargain, right? But not even Family Dollar is safe from the pivot to online shopping. The company will be converting about 200 Family Dollar stores into Dollar Tree stores, and are planning to close up to 390 more stores under the Family Dollar brand in the near future.
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LifeWay Christian Resources, a Nashville-based company that sells Christian products, announced it would be closing all 170 of its stores across the country. They are keeping their website operational and will continue to sell bibles, children's products, books, church supplies, and Christian music and movies through their e-commerce business. The company has been in operation since 1891 and cited a decline in in-person customer traffic and sales as their reason for the shift in business models.
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In November 2018, Performance Bicycle's parent company, Advanced Sports Enterprises, filed for bankruptcy protection. They later announced that they were unable to secure a buyer or successfully restructure their debts. As a result, they closed all 102 of their stores across the country in early March. Their e-commerce business appears to be up and running as of today, and customers are still able to shop for bikes and cycling gear on their website.
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In 2018, the maternity retailer closed 117 stores and leased shops. They also announced plans to close another 42 to 67 stores in 2019. The company has adopted a multiyear strategic plan to turn their business around. Destination Maternity says it hopes to save between $2.3 - 2.5 million per year with the store closings and lease renewal negotiations. By 2022, they're hoping for online sales to account for at least 42% of their total sales, and have begun supporting more digital sales through same-day delivery in some markets, as well as a storefront with Amazon's Marketplace.
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You shouldn't be surprised that Sears is closing. We've heard that they were going down for a while, and many of their stores have closed, more are getting cut this year. There are reports that 72 Sears stores are closing down by the end of 2019, with a lot of the remaining shops being bought out by ESL Investments in hopes of saving the brand, and K-Marts, too. If there is any sign of the times changing and mall culture being a thing of the past, it's these massive buildings coming down. It's a strange world, and Sears is no longer part of it, apparently.
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For fans of Kohl's, the worry isn't as big for this giant store as it is for so many. According to reports, a significant number of Kohl's stores are closing, but not nearly as many as other stores on this list. Slated to close this year for Kohl's includes four stores which doesn't sound too bad considering there are approximately 1,158 stores across the United States. Business spokespeople also say that even with the four stores closing in 2019, things will all balance out. It's reported that they will open four smaller stores in different locations to be more cost-effective.
In 2019, Office Depot Inc. plans on closing 50 of its stores under Office Depot and Office Max brands. A spokesperson for the company says, "Office Depot, Inc. continues to optimize its retail footprint as part of the three-year strategic plan announced in August 2016. We will continue to serve our customers at neighboring Office Depot and OfficeMax stores as well as online." Several stores have already begun liquidation sales, and 18 closed their doors permanently in May. As everything moves to digital, office supply stores may become a thing of the past.
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CVS Health, the largest pharmacy chain in the US, closed 46 underperforming stores in 16 states in April. The company operates more than 9,900 stores, so 46 is really a tiny drop in the bucket. Unlike some of the other companies on this list, the CVS store closures aren't a sign of trouble for the booming company. The closures came after the company announced a 35% year-to-year increase in first-quarter revenue to the tune of $61.6 billion. Sounds like CVS is just streamlining to keep things in the black.
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The party superstore announced in May that it would be closing 45 of its 870 stores this year. Store closures are nothing new for Party City — they typically close up to 15 stores per year. But helium shortages and a general shift in business and shopper habits have hit the party supply retailer a bit harder. Party City CEO James Harrison says, "This year, after careful consideration and evaluation of our store fleet, we've made the decision to close more stores than usual in order to help optimize our market-level performance, focus on the most profitable locations and improve the overall health of our store portfolio."
Pier 1 Imports announced plans to close up to 45 stores in the 2020 fiscal year in an attempt to meet performance goals. But they warned that the number of store closures could increase to up to 15% of its total stores. That would mean approximately 145 closures for the quirky furniture and home decor store. Pier 1 reported significant losses in their fourth quarter fiscal 2018 summary, which doesn't bode well for the future of the retail chain.
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Home decor/random goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond announced plans to close at least 40 stores in 2019, with the possibility of more. But, they also announced plans to open an additional 15 stores in the fiscal year 2019. Robyn D'Elia, chief financial officer and treasurer, said, "We expect to open approximately 15 new stores in fiscal 2019. This will be offset by a minimum of approximately 40 stores we expect to close. This number will grow unless we are able to negotiate more favorable lease terms with our landlords."
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In late 2018, the women's apparel retailer reported a disappointing third quarter. In an attempt to turn things around, the company brought on a new senior VP and Cheif Operator of Stores. After taking a look at their real estate holdings, they are rationalizing their store base and closing 30 - 40 over the next two-and-a-half years. The closings are expected to start at the end of 2019 as leases expire. Christopher & Banks currently operates 461 stores in 45 states of the US.
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In late 2018, Beauty Brands was another company that announced plans to close 25 of its stores and reduce corporate staff at headquarters. The salon and spa superstore chain based out of Kansas City struggled with changes in retail and beauty trends. CEO Caryn Lerner made a statement, reporting, "This year has proven to be a tough year for our business despite our efforts to combat industry headwinds. Necessary organizational changes are required heading into the new year. Make no mistake, these are difficult decisions which we did not take lightly." After the closing, Beauty Brands will operate just 33 stores in 11 states.
The home improvement superstore is streamlining business by closing approximately 20 underperforming stores across 13 states. It also shuttered 31 locations in five Canadian provinces, which include two Lowe's brand stores and several stores under different brand names. Employees at the affected stores will be given opportunities to transition to positions at nearby Lowe's locations.
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Sorry, fans of overpriced furnishings — one of your stores might be headed out of business. Z Gallerie, home furniture and decor store (and mall staple) announced in March that it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — just like Forever 21 did. As part of the restructuring process, they plan to close 17 out of their 76 stores. Given the fate of malls in this country, it's not surprising that Z Gallerie was hit hard. People are totally fine with spending less on furnishings and decor, as evidenced by the success of stores like IKEA and Wayfair.
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This one is a bit surprising, but when you consider how many stores they have, it doesn't seem to signal a major problem for the company. Walmart announced that they had already closed or would be closing approximately 17 stores across the US and Canada. These stores include several Walmart Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Arizona, California, Kansas, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
The department store continues to struggle with meeting sales goals. Macy's has closed several stores over the last few years, and there are more scheduled. Now, they've announced the closing of an additional 13 stores across the country in Wyoming, Washington, California, New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, Virginia, and West Virginia. Some of the affected stores are specialty stores with a focus on things like home and furniture. With those closings, merchandise will be transitioned to full-line stores that operate in the same mall.
The preppy apparel retailer has announced plans to close at least 30 stores in an attempt to turn around their rocky business. At least six stores closed in January 2019, with more planned as part of their turnaround. They've also had some turmoil when it comes to staffing — former CEO Jim Brett stepped down at the end of 2018, and he was leading the charge to fix the issues within the company. Since he left, his plans for a low-cost apparel line have been scrapped.
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Another department store is feeling the pinch! It's got to be hard for department stores to compete in this current retail market. People just don't shop at malls anymore, and anything they sell can be found elsewhere (and often for less money). Nordstrom announced that it will be closing three locations in Florida, Virginia, and Rhode Island. One store closed at the beginning of 2019, and the other two shut their doors in April. Nordstrom has been closing about two stores a year since 2015.
It's not all bad news for businesses though because several are still going strong and have announced they are opening more stores in the next few years. Aldi announced plans to open more than 130 stores this year and on top of that they're also committed to remodel 235 stores. By the end of 2019, the chain estimates they will be operating around 2,000 stores in the US. The bargain food market is a family favorite store thanks to it being so affordable, and that's likely a reason it's holding strong.
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Dollar Tree is another family loved company because hello, dollar prices! The brand revealed plans to open up 350 more Dollar Tree stores in the year. On top of that they also plan to convert 200 Family Dollar stores into Dollar Tree stores likely because that brand is so well-loved and it seems to be holding strong. Of course, that means not the best news for Family Dollar stores, which are closing some Dollar Tree stores — an estimated 390 — and converting more to Dollar Tree brand.
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Everyone loves a good bargain and parents are often seeking them out when it comes to food and stuff. Their slogan "get good stuff cheap" is likely the reason they're reportedly doing so well and opening new stores this year, instead of going the downward trend like so many other brands. They know their customer-base and given they've never really invested in mall-location properties, they're not feeling the stress of the loss in mall culture.
Another discount retailer that is feeling good vibes for 2019 is Five Below. The brand has announced plans to open more stores this year, a reported 150 new locations. Doing this will bring their total number of stores in the US to around 900, which is a great number and the company projects good things for 2019. Five Below is playing their cards right and looking to keep hold of the strong consumer demand for low-priced merchandise.
We've heard it said before that even in the most stressful money times, makeup will always sell and that seems to be holding true for beauty brand Ulta. Despite so many stores announcing closures and bankruptcies, Ulta is planning to continue its growth. It's been reported that the beauty brand store is planning to open 80 new locations and is giving Sephora a good run for its money. The store has continued the trend to open new stores each year and now holds a reported 1,100 store locations across the US.