It has not been a good year for retail.
Faced with the rise of e-commerce, the habit of Millennials to spend more on experiences and less on stuff and tough competition all around, more retailers are either closing completely or pinning their futures on fewer stores.
Here, a reckoning of the retailers that have decided to fold up at least some of their shops this year. The tally so far comes to about 1,488 or more stores slated to close. And many of retail’s biggest name are among those cutting back, including Macy’s Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., The Limited, American Apparel, BCBG Max Azria Global Holdings, Wet Seal, J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Tailored Brands, Gordmans Stores Inc., Guess Inc., Gander Mountain Co., G-III Apparel Group Ltd., Bebe Stores Inc. and, most recently, Ralph Lauren Corp.
Ralph Lauren Corp.
Closing: The Fifth Avenue Polo store in New York
Bad News Delivered: April 4, 2017
Quick Closure: Ralph Lauren opened its first Polo flagship at 711 Fifth Avenue in September 2014, only to reverse course as part of its “continued commitment to optimizing its store footprint.”
Still in Town: Product from store will be integrated into its Ralph Lauren men’s and women’s flagships on Madison Avenue and its downtown locations. The company continues to have seven stores in New York as well as its Polo Bar Restaurant.
Bebe Stores Inc.
Closing: 170 stores
Bad News Delivered: March 31
The Disappearing Store Base: The struggling retailer, which hired B. Riley & Co. to help it explore its strategic alternatives, is shutting all its doors and moving to an online-only model.
Popular Problems: One store associate said the company sent a letter pinning the closure on “financial reasons.”
G-III Apparel Group Ltd.
Closing: Nearly 60
Bad News Delivered: March 27
Losing Out: The company’s Wilsons Leather and Bass retail losses widened to $57 million last year from just $2 million in 2015.
More Closing Ahead: Chairman and chief executive officer Morris Goldfarb said that another 55 doors will be closed next year, although some locations will be taken over by the Karl Lagerfeld brand, which G-III has a stake in, and also DKNY.
Gander Mountain Co.
Closing: 32 Stores
Bad News Delivered: March 23
Hoping to Stay Afloat: The outdoor specialty retailer filed for bankruptcy on March 10 and quickly moved to turn the lights off at 32 of its 160 stores, looking to sell off what’s left as a going concern. .
The Deals: Liquidators said the closures would offer consumers discounts on brands that usually sell at full price, including Under Armour, The North Face, Columbia, Carhartt and New Balance.
Closing: 60 stores
Bad News Delivered: March 15
The Bottom Line: Guess already shuttered 62 stores over the past two years and, with another 60 on the chopping block this year, the retailer expects store closures to boost its operating income by $16 million annually.
The Future: “As more than half of our leases will expire, or have kick-out clauses, in the next three years, we have a lot of flexibility to continue with a closure past this year to further improve profitability.” — Victor Herraro, chief executive officer.
Gordmans Stores Inc.
Closing: 106 stores
Bad News Delivered: March 13
A Century-plus: The 102-year-old Midwestern valued-priced department store filed for Chapter 11 to keep creditors at bay as it winds down operations.
The Reason: “Like many other apparel and retail companies, the debtors have fallen victim in recent months to adverse macroeconomic trends, especially a general shift away from brick-and-mortar to online retail channels, a shift in consumer demographics and expensive leases.” — James B. Brown, chief financial officer
Closing: 8 Jos. A. Bank stores, 3 Men’s Wearhouse Tux stores
Bad News Delivered: March 8
Still Shutting Stores: The giant of men’s wear retailing shuttered 233 stores last year, saving $60 million, but will continue to trim this year.
The Cautious Outlook: “While we’re striving for improved performance in 2017, given the ongoing choppiness and overall declines we’re seeing in the business, we believe it is appropriate to plan for these trends to continue.” — Douglas Ewert, chief executive officer
Closing: 60 stores
Bad News Delivered: March 2
The natural method: The retailer said it would be closing about 60 doors in the U.S. this year “through natural lease expirations.”
The future: “With about 50 percent of our U.S. leases expiring by the end of fiscal 2018, we continue to have significant lease flexibility to strike the right channel balance and drive efficiency by remodeling or resizing our stores, renegotiating leases, or closing.” — Joanne Crevoiserat, executive vice president, chief operating and financial officer
J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
Closing: 130 to 140 stores this year
Bad News Delivered: Feb. 24
Encouraging words: “We are in the process of testing a lot of initiatives that we hope will work in smaller-footprint stores and in some of the stores in non A-level malls. If these initiatives play out well, we will have fewer stores to close in the future. I don’t think we will ever again be closing this many stores.” — Marvin Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer
Adding elsewhere: The department store is also bringing in 70 new Sephora shops, 100 appliance showrooms, 500 Nike shops and 400 Adidas shops.
Closing: 171 stores
Bad News Delivered: Jan. 26
On shutting done: “Unfortunately, the company was unable to obtain the necessary capital or identify a strategic partner, and was recently informed that it will receive no further financing for its operations. As a result, the company has no alternative but to proceed with an orderly liquidation.” — Michelle Stocker, vice president and general counsel
BCBG Max Azria Global Holdings
Closing: 120 stores
Bad News Delivered: Jan. 18
The why: “Like so many other great brands, BCBG has been negatively impacted by the growth in online sales and shifts in customer shopping patterns and, as a result, has too large a physical retail footprint. In order to remain viable, the company — like so many others in its industry — must realign its business to effectively compete in today’s shopping environment.” — BCBG
Bankrupt: A New York bankruptcy court judge gave the company the OK to proceed with its plan to shutter the stores in March.
Closing: 104 stores
Bad News Delivered: Jan. 16
Chapter 22: American Apparel didn’t survive its second tour through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process and ended with its stores closing down and its intellectual property sold to Gildan Activewear Inc. for $88 million.
Closed: 250 stores
Bad News Delivered: Jan. 6
The farewell: “We’re sad to say that all The Limited stores nationwide have officially closed their doors, but this isn’t goodbye. The styles you love are still available online — we’re just a quick click away 24 hours a day.” — the company’s web site
The next step: The firm’s intellectual property was bought in a bankruptcy auction by Sycamore Partners in February.
Sears Holdings Corp.
Closing: 150 stores (including 108 Kmart and 42 Sears doors)
Bad News Delivered: Jan. 5
The rationale: The store closures are intended to “stem losses” and along with a new $500 million real estate-backed loan and a deal to sell Craftsman were part of a broader effort to put the company’s books in order.
The mission: “We are taking strong, decisive actions today to stabilize the company and improve our financial flexibility in what remains a challenging retail environment. We are committed to improving short-term operating performance in order to achieve our long-term transformation.” — Edward S. Lampert, chairman and chief executive officer
Closing: 63 stores this spring
Bad News Delivered: Jan. 4
The process: “We looked at every pyramid of the company. We looked at benchmarking. We have been planning this very carefully. This is not something we did quickly.” — Jeff Gennette, Macy’s president and incoming chief executive officer
Slimming down: The closures are part of a streamlining that will see a total of 10,000 workers laid off, including 6,200 managers or 17 percent of the company’s executives.