By  on May 2, 2018

The tally so far: 2,959 — and counting.That's the number of store closures announced so far this year. The growth of shopping options — either new brands popping up or just the general shift to online shopping — has contributed to a retail malaise that hasn’t been kind to the bricks-and-mortar channel.While many retailers plan to open new stores, that number continues to be overshadowed by the rate of store closures.In 2017, nearly 7,000 store closures were announced, and slightly over 5,000 doors actually shuttered. The balance was slated for closure this year. Many closures were due to store realignment initiatives; others were due to bankruptcies, some of which resulted in liquidations. Examples of the latter include Sports Authority, Eastern Mountain Outfitters and Hhgregg.While the 2,959 stores scheduled to close this year include some revealed in 2017, the majority are new. The latest to join the list is The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which said in April it would liquidate, setting the stage for 250 more department stores to go dark.Bon-Ton is the second large retailer to fall into Chapter 11 and eye liquidation this year. Bankrupt Toys ‘R’ Us is teetering on the edge, having said it would shutter all 730 of its locations. Toys ‘R’ Us received a "Hail Mary" offer Friday from an investor group led by Isaac Larian, chief executive officer of MGA Entertainment that, if accepted, could save the nameplate from the retail graveyard. MGA is not part of the $890 million offer for Toys ‘R’ Us, which if accepted would keep at least some of the stores in operation. While the company has not said officially what it plans to do, there are reports that it is not inclined to accept the offer.No one doubts that plenty more retailers will close in 2018, although it is debatable whether that number will surpass the nearly 7,000-plus tally from 2017.The list of 2,959 stores below focuses on the apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty sector. Announced closures in other sub-sectors of retail — such as the 375 Teavana tea stores being closed by Starbucks and Best Buy’s shuttering of its 250-store small footprint concept — raise the total to over 3,500. In other words, we're already halfway toward topping last year's total and the year isn't even a third over. CoachNumber: 8 storesDisclosed:  May 1Reason: Normal store-fleet realignmentBackdrop:  Most of stores closed were in North America. Kate SpadeNumber: 11 storesDisclosed:  May 1Reason:  Normal store-fleet realignmentBackdrop:  The company also opened 9 stores so far this year. Steve AlanNumber: 17 storesDisclosed: April 25Reason: DownsizingBackdrop: The company is leaving six stores in operation and has shut down its wholesale business. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.Number: 250 storesDisclosed: April 18Reason: BankruptcyBackdrop: Originally expected to close just 42 stores, liquidators in a bankruptcy court auction won the right to begin store-closing sales shortly — that would result in all locations going dark within 10 to 12 weeks. J. Crew Group Inc.Number: 20Disclosed: March 27Reason: Continued pressure on the women’s apparel business.Backdrop: The closures are on top of the 50 stores shuttered last year.[caption id="attachment_1202654886" align="alignnone" width="300"] Claire's is closing 92 doors.[/caption]Claire’sNumber: 92 stores in the U.S. and Puerto RicoDisclosed: March 19Reason: BankruptcyBackdrop: The teen accessories chain operates 99 percent of its stores in American malls, but has been saddled with high debt due to a $3.1 billion leverage buyout in 2007 by private equity firm Apollo Global Management. The company plans to exit bankruptcy proceedings in September. In a regulatory filing, it projected a total store count of 1,400 in 2022, down from 2017’s year-end store count of 1,570.[caption id="attachment_10841062" align="alignnone" width="300"]Zales, Signet Jewelers, Sterling Jewelers, Kay Jewelers, Jared, Jewelry, Mall Jewelry Zales, one of Signet Jewelers' chains.[/caption]Signet Jewelers Ltd.Number: At least 200Disclosed: March 14Reason: Corporate realignment planBackdrop: The company disclosed a three-year strategic initiative that includes a limit on the number of its different nameplates that can operate in the same mall and compete for the same customers. About three-quarters of the stores expected to close are housed in the same mall as another Signet banner. The nameplates operated under the Signet umbrella include Kay, Zales and Jared, as well as others. Toys ‘R’ Us:Number: 730Disclosed: March 12Reason: Bankruptcy liquidationBackdrop: Earlier this week, the company received a new $890 million offer from an investor group was made to give 274 U.S. and 82 Canadian stores another lease on life. However, the company reportedly has rejected the offer since the dollar amount is said to be less than the liquidated value of the chain. Stage Stores:Number: 25 to 30 department storesDisclosed: March 8Reason:   Store fleet realignmentBackdrop: The company — which operates department stores under the nameplates 777 Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage, as well as its Gordmans off-price stores — routinely prunes its store base. American Eagle Outfitters Inc.Number: 10 to 15 American Eagle Stores; 5 to 10 Aerie storesDisclosed: March 8Reason: Normal store realignmentBackdrop: The company typically reviews its store base and mall locations. Abercrombie & Fitch Co.Number: Up to 60, including at least 7 A&F stores and 3 Abercrombie kids’ storesDisclosed: March 7Reason: Non-renewal of leases when they expireBackdrop: The retailer over the last few years has elected to not renew many leases as they come due to realign their store base as more consumers shop online. The Walking CompanyNumber: At least five storesDisclosed: March 6Reason: BankruptcyBackdrop: The company operates shoe stores under the name The Walking Company, as well as its Footsmart catalogue business. It said more stores could close if concessions from landlords for rent reductions can’t be obtained. [caption id="attachment_1202654896" align="alignnone" width="300"] A realignment of the store fleet will result in 110 doors closed.[/caption]Foot LockerNumber: 110Disclosed: March 2Reason: Normal closure of underperforming storesBackdrop: The company closes on average 100 stores each year. Charlotte OlympiaNumber: Four storesDisclosed: Feb. 22Reason: BankruptcyBackdrop: The London-based firm is shuttering its U.S. operations. According to bankruptcy court papers, the U.S. has never been profitable. B&B BachrachNumber: 14 storesDisclosed: Feb. 21Reason: LiquidationBackdrop: The 140-year-old men’s apparel retailer filed for bankruptcy last year. J.C. Penney Co. Inc.Number: EightDisclosed: Feb. 15Reason: Normal post-holiday review of store productivityBackdrop: The mass retailer is also closing a distribution center in Wauwatosa, Wis. The company last year closed over 140 stores. Nordstrom Inc.Number: OneDisclosed: Feb. 1Reason: Store fleet realignmentBackdrop: Following closure of the Salem, Ore., store, Nordstrom will still have three full-line locations in the state. Overall, it operates about 360 stores, with 200 under the Nordstrom Rack nameplate. Sam’s ClubNumber: 63Disclosed: Jan. 11Reason: Store fleet realignmentBackdrop: Walmart, which operates the big box membership club, will convert 12 of the sites into fulfillment centers. Even with the stores now dark, there are still 597 Sam’s Club locations across the U.S. Kiko USANumber: 24 storesDisclosed: Jan. 11Reason: BankruptcyBackdrop: The U.S. subsidiary of the Italian makeup chain Kiko SpA is keeping five stores in the U.S. in operation. The company, which saw a decline in mall traffic, plans to grow its own online business as well as its partnership with partnership with Amazon. A’gaciNumber: At least 49 storesDisclosed: Jan. 10Reason: BankruptcyBackdrop: The Texas-based women’s fast-fashion chain, which had a total of 78 stores mostly in malls, plans to focus more on its online sales. The closure of 49 stores, or 65 percent of its footprint, includes some of its most profitable stores in Texas and Florida. Both states were impacted by hurricanes last year, while two stores in Puerto Rico, another hurricane-hit area, remain closed. Sears Holdings Corp.Number: 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears locationsDisclosed: Jan. 4Reason: Store fleet realignmentBackdrop: Sears Holdings Corp. has been closing stores as part of its “transformation” to an omnichannel business focused on its “Shop Your Way” membership program. It closed 358 stores last year. Macy’s Inc.Number: At least 11Disclosed: Jan. 4Reason: Store fleet realignmentBackdrop: Part of the store closure initiative from August to shutter up to 100 store sites. The retailer said there could also be another 19 locations as store leases expire or sites are sold, although the timing was unclear. Target Corp.Number: 12Disclosed: Nov. 8, 2017Reason: Store fleet realignmentBackdrop: The stores were closed in February. Walgreens Boots AllianceNumber: 600 Rite Aid storesDisclosed: Oct. 25, 2017Reason: Walgreens’ $4.4 billion acquisition of Rite Aid Corp.Backdrop: The closures will occur over an 18-month period beginning this spring. The acquisition included nearly 2,000 Rite Aid locations. The Children’s PlaceNumber: 144 by 2020Disclosed: July 7, 2017Reason: Normal review of store fleetBackdrop: The company closes on average 30 stores a year. Ascena Retail GroupNumber: 268 by 2019, to startDisclosed: June 10, 2017Reason: Store fleet realignmentBackdrop: The targeted store count was 667 across its nameplates: Ann Taylor, Loft, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Justice and Catherines and Maurices. The company said the remaining 399 stores would be closed if it can’t obtain rent reduction agreements from landlords. Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.Number: At least 100; up to 125Disclosed: May 31, 2017Reason: Last year, the company said the closures would occur during 2018 and 2019.Backdrop: Kors has been working on a multiyear plan to turnaround its business.

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