Gap, Victoria’s Secret, J.C. Penney, Tesla and Abercrombie & Fitch. What do these companies have in common? They’re all closing stores this year.
Already, 4,810 store closures have been announced by retailers in 2019, according to Coresight Research. And it’s only March. Last year, Coresight tracked 5,524 store closures, down more than 30 percent from a record 8,139 closures announced in 2017.
Adding to the noise, Amazon said this week it will shut all 87 of its pop-up shops inside Whole Foods, Kohl’s and malls across the country. But the company has vowed to invest more in its book stores and other bricks-and-mortar concepts, including its cashierless convenience store called Amazon Go.
Here are some of the biggest retailers that have announced store closures so far this year
Gap Inc. is planning to shut 230 of its namesake brand’s stores over the next two years. This fiscal year, Gap said it expects to close about 50 company-owned stores, net of any new openings or repositioning. The apparel retailer recently announced its plans to split its business into two publicly traded companies, one that includes Gap, Banana Republic, Intermix and its women’s and men’s athleisure brands Athleta and Hill City, and another with just Old Navy.
L Brands‘ Victoria’s Secret is planning to shut 53 stores this year, as the lingerie retailer struggles to appeal to women with its outdated bra and underwear merchandise. On average, the company has been closing roughly 15 stores each year. Meantime, up-and-coming lingerie brands like Adore Me and Lively are opening up stores, taking the market share that Victoria’s Secret leaves behind.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said it plans to close up to 40 stores during fiscal 2019, after closing 29 locations last year. The company has, meanwhile, been working toward reducing the size of its stores and remodeling existing locations. Abercrombie also said it plans to open additional stores this year, to make up for the closures, after opening 22 stores in 2018.
Tesla said last month it plans to shift all of its sales online and close most of its stores as a result. It said a small number of Tesla stores will remain open as “galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers,” where customers can learn about the company’s products and buy Tesla merchandise. Tesla had been opening up shop in malls across the country to operate more than 100 stores and showrooms nationwide, with others overseas.
Teen apparel retailer Charlotte Russe is liquidating and closing all of its stores, after filing for bankruptcy protection about a month ago. At the time, it was only planning to shut 94 stores. But now, the company will be closing its more than 500 locations across the country, after a liquidator won the auction for its business in bankruptcy court. Many of its stores are found within shopping malls.
Payless ShoeSource filed for bankruptcy in February and has started the process of shutting all 2,500 of its stores across North America. Payless struggled with a heavy debt load and also said in court documents it faced “unanticipated” delays from its suppliers in recent years that forced it to sell inventory at deep discounts.
When kids clothing company Gymboree filed for bankruptcy protection in January, it said it would close all 800 of its Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores. It’s since sold the rights associated with both Gymboree and its Crazy 8 brand to Children’s Place, while Gap has acquired Gymboree’s Janie and Jack brand’s intellectual property, its website, customer data and other assets.
Discount chain Dollar Tree said this week it plans to close 390 Family Dollar stores this year while it renovates 1,000 other locations. After buying Family Dollar in 2015, Dollar Tree has been left with the task of improving the appearance of those stores, many of which are run down. It’s also been trying to cut costs.
Women’s clothing retailer Chico’s said on its earnings call earlier this month it will shut between 60 to 80 stores in fiscal 2019. The company overall intends to close at least 250 stores in the U.S. over the next three years. It joins a list of apparel companies that are struggling to stay afloat today, as more sales move online and shoppers are lured to fast-fashion brands like Zara and H&M.
Department store chain J.C. Penney said it plans to close just 18 department stores, in addition to nine home and furniture shops, in 2019. The company has already hinted there will be additional closures to come in 2020 and beyond, as it works to whittle away at its massive real estate footprint.