toys r us

The tally so far: 3,299 — 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 3,299 stores scheduled to close this year include some revealed in 2017, the majority are new.

Sears Holdings Corp., which started this year stating in January that it would close 63 doors, is now up to 284 store closures, moving closer to the 358 doors its shuttered last year.

Another mega-door closure this year was The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which said in April it would liquidate, setting the stage for 250 more department stores going dark. Bankrupt Toys ‘R’ Us also liquidated this year, shuttering its 730 doors.

No one doubts that retailers will continue to close doors in 2018, although it is debatable whether that number will surpass the nearly 7,000-plus tally from 2017.

The list of 3,299 planned closures 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 3,900.


Sears Holdings Corp.

Number: 284

Disclosed: June 29

Reason: Store fleet realignment

Backdrop:  Sears Holdings Corp., which so far said it is closing 134 Kmart stores and 150 Sears doors, is moving closer to the 358 sites it shuttered last year.  So far the tally is 63 stores in January (18 Sears and 45 Kmart stores); 103 in April (39 Sears and 64 Kmart sites); 40 by the end of the summer (31 Sears and 42 Kmart locations) and 78 by September (62 Sears and 16 Kmart doors).


Lord & Taylor

Number: 1 store

Disclosed:  June 5

Reason:  Amid same-store sales declines, parent firm The Hudson’s Bay Co. is shuttering the flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in early 2019.

Backdrop:  It was disclosed in October that an agreement was reached to sell the real estate where the store was housed to WeWork.


Christopher & Banks

Number: 3

Disclosed: June 1

Reason:  Realignment of store base.

Backdrop:  The company said it plans to close one Christopher & Banks store, one C.J. Banks store and one Misses, Petites and Woman store.


Dollar Tree Inc.

Number:  5

Disclosed:  May 31

Reason:  Normal store realignment.

Backdrop:  The company will close two Dollar Tree stores and three Family Dollar locations.  For the quarter ended May 5, the company opened 68 Dollar Tree locations and 62 Family Dollar doors, and said it was on track to open a total of 650 new stores for fiscal 2018.


Ulta Beauty Inc.

Number:  1

Disclosed:   May 31

Reason:  Normal store realignment.

Backdrop:  For the first quarter ended May 5, the company also opened 34 stores, moving closer to its goal of 100 new stores for fiscal 2018.


Tilly’s Inc.

Number:  5

Disclosed:  May 30

Reason:  Normal store realignment.

Backdrop:  The five stores were closed in the first quarter ended May 5. The company also plans to open a total of 12 stores in 2018.


Stage Stores Inc.

Number:  30 to 35

Disclosed:  May 24

Reason: Realignment of channel focus from department stores to off-price.

Backdrop:  The company said that based on its “continued belief in the off-price model and success of its first Gordmans conversion,” it plans to convert five to ten department stores to Gordman stores and close 30 to 35 department stores, versus its previous estimate of 25 to 30 department stores.


Urban Outfitters Inc.

Number:  1

Disclosed:  May 23

Reason:  Normal retail evaluation.

Backdrop:  The company also opened four stores in the first quarter, including two Free People doors and two Urban Outfitters locations.


Marks & Spencer

Number: 100

Disclosed:  May 22

Reason:  The plan is to close 100 U.K. stores by 2022.

Backdrop:  The closures in the U.K. are part of a reshaping of its retail strategy to focus more on online sales. Fourteen sites are slated for closure this year.



Number: 8

Disclosed:  May 1

Reason: Normal store-fleet realignment

Backdrop:  Most of stores closed were in North America.


Kate Spade

Number: 11

Disclosed:  May 1

Reason:  Normal store-fleet realignment

Backdrop:  The company also opened nine stores so far this year.


Steve Alan

Number: 17

Disclosed: April 25

Reason: Downsizing

Backdrop: The company is leaving six stores in operation and has shut down its wholesale business.


The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

Number: 250

Disclosed: April 18

Reason: Bankruptcy

Backdrop: 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: 20

Disclosed: March 27

Reason: Continued pressure on the women’s apparel business.

Backdrop: The closures are on top of the 50 stores shuttered last year.


Claire’s is closing 92 doors.  Shutterstock / James W Copeland


Number: 92 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico

Disclosed: March 19

Reason: Bankruptcy

Backdrop: 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.


Zales, Signet Jewelers, Sterling Jewelers, Kay Jewelers, Jared, Jewelry, Mall Jewelry

Zales, one of Signet Jewelers’ chains.  PAUL SAKUMA/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Signet Jewelers Ltd.

Number: At least 200

Disclosed: March 14

Reason: Corporate realignment plan

Backdrop: 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: 730

Disclosed: March 12

Reason: Bankruptcy liquidation

Backdrop: Although the company had received an $890 million offer from an investor group that would have given 274 U.S. and 82 Canadian stores another lease on life, the company rejected the offer since the dollar amount was less than the liquidated value of the chain.


American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

Number: 10 to 15 American Eagle Stores; 5 to 10 Aerie stores

Disclosed: March 8

Reason: Normal store realignment

Backdrop: 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’ stores

Disclosed: March 7

Reason: Non-renewal of leases when they expire

Backdrop: 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 Company

Number: At least 5 stores

Disclosed: March 6

Reason: Bankruptcy

Backdrop: 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.


A realignment of the store fleet will result in 110 doors closed.  Shutterstock / MikeDotta

Foot Locker

Number: 110

Disclosed: March 2

Reason: Normal closure of underperforming stores

Backdrop: The company closes on average 100 stores each year.


Charlotte Olympia

Number: 4

Disclosed: Feb. 22

Reason: Bankruptcy

Backdrop: The London-based firm is shuttering its U.S. operations. According to bankruptcy court papers, the U.S. has never been profitable.


B&B Bachrach

Number: 14

Disclosed: Feb. 21

Reason: Liquidation

Backdrop: The 140-year-old men’s apparel retailer filed for bankruptcy last year.


J.C. Penney Co. Inc.

Number: 8

Disclosed: Feb. 15

Reason: Normal post-holiday review of store productivity

Backdrop: The mass retailer is also closing a distribution center in Wauwatosa, Wis. The company last year closed over 140 stores.


Nordstrom Inc.

Number: 1

Disclosed: Feb. 1

Reason: Store fleet realignment

Backdrop: 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 Club

Number: 63

Disclosed: Jan. 11

Reason: Store fleet realignment

Backdrop: 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 USA

Number: 24 stores

Disclosed: Jan. 11

Reason: Bankruptcy

Backdrop: 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.



Number: At least 49 stores

Disclosed: Jan. 10

Reason: Bankruptcy

Backdrop: 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.


Macy’s Inc.

Number: At least 11

Disclosed: Jan. 4

Reason: Store fleet realignment

Backdrop: 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: 12

Disclosed: Nov. 8, 2017

Reason: Store fleet realignment

Backdrop: The stores were closed in February.


Walgreens Boots Alliance

Number: 600 Rite Aid stores

Disclosed: Oct. 25, 2017

Reason: 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 Place

Number: 144 by 2020

Disclosed: July 7, 2017

Reason: Normal review of store fleet

Backdrop: The company closes on average 30 stores a year.


Ascena Retail Group

Number: 268 by 2019, to start

Disclosed: June 10, 2017

Reason: Store fleet realignment

Backdrop: 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 125

Disclosed: May 31, 2017

Reason: 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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