These days, most consumers can buy just about anything online at the click of a button. As a result, some of the biggest companies are taking notice and focusing more of their sales online. However, some of the less fortunate ones are closing up shop and major branches. So, what does this mean for some of our favorite stores? Will they make the cut? Find out their fate in this list of store closures.
Shoe lovers are going to have to find a new place to get their footwear for cheap prices. Payless ShoeSource announced that it has filed for bankruptcy and closed all 2,500 of its stores. That’s a whole lot of shoes.
Payless closed many of its stores in March, 2019 after holding liquidation sales, causing shoes to basically fly off their shelves, while some of the stores stayed open until May. Payless pointed to “unanticipated” delays from their suppliers for causing the company to go into debt. Of all the businesses shutting down this year, Payless accounts for the largest number of store closures.
2. Henri Bendel
Henri Bendel had become almost a staple of New York fashion, from its famous black and white striped boxes to its destination flagship store on Fifth Avenue. It was the first brand to have its own fragrance, stage its own fashion show, and offer in-store makeovers for customers.
But over time, sales have dipped. It’s owner, L Brands, decided to shut down all of the Henri Bendel stores to focus on some of its higher earning brands like Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works instead. By January 2019, all of the 23 stores and its online shopping website came to a halt.
It is not totally unusual today to find a Tesla parked right in the middle of some of the largest malls across America, showcasing the luxury brand vehicle. But pretty soon that sight will be a thing of the past, as Tesla will begin to close its stores and turn its focus to online sales.
For any of the other people who think it might be a little odd to purchase a luxury car like a Tesla online, there will still be some alternatives. Tesla will keep some stores open that will instead act as “galleries, showcases, and Tesla information centers.” But as far as the nearly 100 stores around the world, business will instead be driven to the company’s website.
4. Family Dollar
The joy of finding some of your home essentials for the cheap price of only one dollar may soon be a thing of the past. That is because Family Dollar has announced that it will be permanently shutting the doors of 390 stores in 2019.
As for the other remaining stores, Family Dollar says that they may stay in business, but might operate under a different name. That name change might be because there are possible plans to sell goods for more than the $1 price tag. The remaining stores will also be receiving a bit of a face lift, as owners plan to improve some of the more run-down locations.
Shoppers across the United States will surely be mourning the loss of a shopping center staple, Dressbarn. With its wide range of sizes and styles, there was once a time where Dressbarns locations seemed to be everywhere. But those days are now over.
Dressbarn announced that it will be closing all 650 of its locations. The chief financial officer of Dressbarn called the decision to close the stores “difficult, but necessary.” But in a testament to the company’s management, it has vowed to help all of its employees make smooth transitions to different workplaces for all 6,800 of its sales associates.
6. Vera Bradley
Before we worry readers, just know that there is still a lot of hope for America’s favorite quilted bag brand. Vera Bradley has been selling their products, ranging from from handbags to candles, to other retailers for years. Now, they have decided to cut back on some of their own brick and mortar stores.
By 2021, Vera Bradley will be closing nearly half of its stores, 50 out of its 110 locations. Factory outlets are said to be staying open, and the company will still be selling their products to places like Bed Bath and Beyond and Hallmark. So bag lovers can exhale, there’s still plenty of hope for this handbag brand.
After a century in the business, Hertz has filed for bankruptcy! While the company’s CEO directed the blame at the pandemic that struck in the world in 2020, most experts say it’s because of the business model and the way Hertz hadn’t adapted to new trends and consumer needs.
Not only did Hertz file for bankruptcy, but the company was also saddled with 700,000 unused cars and a $19 billion debt. What’s more, this news didn’t come as a surprise because for the four years leading up to the closure, Hertz lost a lot of money, losing $58 million just in 2019. Perhaps the company should have followed their own slogan and “put the consumer in the driver’s seat.”
Back in January, 2019, the beloved children’s clothing company Gymboree announced that it had filed for bankruptcy and would close all 800 of its stores throughout the United States and Canada. Since then, final sales are going on in most of the stores still standing, but online shopping has come to an end.
But the good news is that Gymboree lovers still have a chance at getting some of their favorite children’s clothing elsewhere. Gap recently bought out Gymboree’s Janie and Jack brand, along with its website. So for anyone mourning the loss of Gymboree, there are still some remnants of the brand at other children’s clothing stores. However, there is even sadder news for another popular children’s clothing store.
9. Abercrombie & Fitch
The boy band LFO once sang in their song “Summer Girls,” that they like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch. So we have some good news and some bad news for them, and for all of the summer girls out there. The beloved clothing brand is closing down up to 40 of its stores.
But here’s the good news: The brand also announced that it will possibly open up to 40 new stores coming soon. So why close 40 and open 40 more? The company says that the new stores will be smaller than the existing ones and many will be totally remodeled.
10. Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe was once a mecca for finding inexpensive dresses and figure-hugging outfits across the U.S. Many would be hard pressed to find a school dance from the early 2000s that did not have a Charlotte Russe outfit or (at least) two. But those days are officially a thing of the past.
The teen apparel company announced in March, 2019 that it had filed for bankruptcy. That meant that all of its stores – 500 in total – would shut down. Online sales have already stopped, and most of the remaining stores closed by the end of April. But the memory of the famous pink signs gracing malls across America will likely live on.
Macy’s is not only known for being one of the United States’ biggest department stores, but the company also throws one of the largest parades each year. In fact, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is known to be one of the largest in the world. But you won’t see this Macy’s news paraded out anytime soon.
A few years ago, Macy’s announced that it would be closing down a few of its stores. And that time has finally come in 2019. Two stores are closing in California, while New York, Virginia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Wyoming and Washington will each be losing one store. But don’t worry, there are over 600 more where that came from!
Here’s the low down on Lowe’s. One of the United States’ favorite home improvement and garden stores has already begun to close quite a few locations across the country and internationally. Now, there are 51 store closures, to be exact. And in the future there may be more to come.
By the end of 2018, Lowe’s Companies Inc. announced that they would shutter 31 stores in Canada, and an additional 20 stores in the United States. This might be a small fraction of the total Lowe’s stores, which has over 2,000 locations, but its still a loss for garden lovers everywhere.
13. Victoria’s Secret
It is no secret that Victoria’s Secret has been struggling with its sales lately. With new lingerie and womenswear companies competing for customers, the massive retailer has taken a hit to its bottom line. Recent reports have said that shoppers are going for brands that are focused more on comfort and accessibility rather than the glitz and glam that comes with a VS ensemble.
In 2019, Victoria’s Secret will close more than 53 stores, after the company already shut down 30 stores the previous year. At the same time, new lingerie companies are seeing growth and are choosing to open up more locations across the U.S.
14. e.l.f Cosmetics
e.l.f Cosmetics (which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) took the makeup world by storm. The brand offers quality makeup for almost impossible prices. Their best selling foundation costs a whopping $6, a price that is hard to beat with just about any other cosmetic company.
Luckily for all the makeup lovers out there, e.l.f. is still here to stay, just not through brick and mortar stores. Instead, the cosmetics company is going to focus on digital sales, and close up all 22 of its locations. But if you still need your in-store fix of inexpensive makeup, not to worry, the company will continue to do business with many popular drug stores.
15. Foot Locker
Sneakers are having a huge moment in fashion right now. It seems today that almost every celebrity, from Rihanna to Kylie Jenner, has paired up with a shoe retailer to promote the latest styles. But if the shoe industry is booming, why is Foot Locker closing so many of its stores?
Foot Locker Inc. announced that throughout 2019, they will be closing 165 stores nationwide. The company will instead use the millions of dollars saved from closing those stores and spend it on upgrades and remodels of existing stores. So while shoppers may have to get their kick fix from another location, the good news is that the next store will be new and improved.
Do not read about this store closure before your morning coffee! Starbucks announced last summer that it will be closing the doors of 150 locations permanently throughout 2019. But don’t worry, there’s probably another location you will love about a block or two away. And that’s the problem.
It turns out that while many may notice that there seems to be a Starbucks on every corner, the company has noticed as well. Most of the 150 stores that are closing are located in cities where the market is over saturated by the famous green mermaid signs, and the competing locations are stealing business from each other.
Swedish brand H&M (which, did everyone know, stands for Hennes & Mauritz?) basically pioneered fast-fashion as we know it today. The retailer has brought fashionable clothing to shoppers worldwide, without the bank-breaking price tag. But it seems that keeping stores open in the U.S. is breaking their bank.
H&M announced that it will close 160 stores throughout the United States. It turns out that the U.S. stores are showing slow growth, while stores elsewhere are booming. So instead, H&M is focusing on stores outside of Europe and the U.S., and opening 355 new locations in other parts of the world.
18. J.C. Penney
With the boom in online retail options, many shoppers who would usually go to a department store to get everything they need are, instead, choosing to shop from their comfort of their own homes. For that reason, many department stores across the United States are scaling back on the number of their retail locations.
J.C. Penney, once a staple of fashion malls and shopping centers for decades, has been experiencing a drop in sales. As a result, 18 department store locations and nine J.C. Penney furniture stores will close in 2019. And rumor has it, there are more closures to come from this department store in 2020.
Women’s apparel retailer Chico’s started as just a three person operation in Florida. Since then, it has grown to encompass over 600 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and also owns two other brands: White House Black Market and Soma.
But on a recent conference call to discuss earnings, the top brass at Chico’s announced that 250 stores throughout the United States will have to close permanently. But don’t worry, there’s still time to shop at the women’s retailer. The stores are set to close slowly over the next few years. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for some of the other companies on this list.
20. Bath & Body Works
You might need to hoard away a big stash of some Black Cherry Merlot body lotion and Champagne Toast shower gel because Bath & Body Works are closing 24 stores, with three already shut down in 2019. But with every closure comes openings and renovations.
L Brands Inc., the bath shop’s parent company, has announced that they will also open 46 new stores and revamp 175 existing shops. So far, two have closed in Los Angeles and four in San Diego. On the other hand, according to Fox Business news, Bath & Body Works has grown by three percent, whereas L Brands announced the closing of 53 Victoria’s Secret stores in 2019.
While some of the companies on this list decided to close up shop after finding themselves in debt, Kohl’s decided to take more preventative measures. Seeing a decline in shoppers who are trekking to malls, Kohl’s announced that it would close a few stores that are close to or inside of malls.
Kohl’s described these mall-based stores as “low performing.” However, management has offered severance packages or the option to be transferred to another store to all of the employees working at these closing locations. With this step, Kohl’s is trying to get ahead of falling sales, instead of ending up like some of the companies mentioned in this list.
22. Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor has become a staple shopping destination. After all, it is the oldest department store in the United States. And loyal L&T shoppers were hit hard in early 2019 when the store announced that after 140 years, it was closing its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
But that’s not all that is changing at the department store. Lord & Taylor is also reportedly going to close 10 additional stores over the next year. While the company has not announced which exact locations the public should expect to close, it will still be a huge loss, since there are only about 45 locations nationwide before the closures.
23. The Children’s Place
Unfortunately, The Children’s Place has earned itself a place of its own on this graveyard of closing stores. The once booming company that became a go-to spot for picking out fashionable and affordable children’s clothes is closing its doors in 300 locations. And while the closures began in 2018, they are continuing into 2019.
By the end of 2018, The Children’s Place had already shut down 191 stores with lackluster sales. In 2019, 100 additional locations will also close permanently. But if anyone’s local store shuts down, do not worry. The company is still selling clothing through its online store.
24. Performance Bicycle
For anyone who is an avid cyclist, they are going to want to sit down for this one. The largest bike retailer in the United States, Performance Bicycles, is pumping the breaks on its business and closing all 104 stores across the country.
Originally, Performance Bicycles said that after its parent company, Advanced Sports Enterprises, filed for bankruptcy, it would be able to keep at least half of the locations open. But then they backpedaled on that idea. Instead, the brand decided to fully shut down, and nearly every store was closed down by early March, once and for all.
When the British fast-fashion chain hit American shores in 2009, it instantaneously became a fashion favorite, even among the likes of supermodel Kate Moss and celeb Jay-Z. But after 10 short years, Topshop is making a dramatic exit and plans to close all of its 11 Topshop and Topman shops in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, and Houston.
The reason for this sudden move is because Topshop’s parent company, Arcadia Group, filed for bankruptcy as a result of highly competitive e-commerce market trends and a sharp change in consumer habits. CEO Ian Grabiner has confirmed the news saying, “This has been a tough but necessary decision for the business.”
Most people will freak out at the mere mention of Target on this list. As one of the biggest and most popular retailers, nobody wants to hear of any cutbacks or store closures. However, due to other retailers with smaller footprints, Target has had to adapt to the ever dynamic and precarious consumer trends, and has closed up to at least six stores every year in the last few years.
As of 2019, two stores will close in Chicago, one in Minnesota (which is in fact closest to Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis), and one in New York, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. There is some good news, though. Despite all the impending store closures, the chain is planning on opening around 20 smaller shops in different locations. There will also still be plenty of spots to use the REDcard credit card.
When it comes to stellar customer service, Nordstrom is at the top of its game, but unfortunately the upscale clothing retailer has taken a bit of a knock in the last few years (albeit slowly compared to its other lower-end rivals), as more and more consumers are leaning towards high fashion at cheap prices, online shopping, and cheaper fashion chains.
To combat the aggressive market, the company has invested a lot of money into Nordstrom Rack discount stores and expanding its online shopping presence, but it’s not enough and therefore three stores have closed so far in 2019, with the fourth shutting its doors by August. In fact, the store that heading for the chopping block is in a Seattle mall, and has been in business for almost six decades.
From appliances to clothing lines, Sears carries a wide array of products and goods, which has made it a one-stop shop for its customers. But throughout the United States, that stop might be a little farther away than usual, as Sears Holdings announced the company will be closing a handful of stores.
In the beginning of 2019, Sears’ parent company, which also owns Kmart, announced that 89 of their Sears stores will be closing. And by March, most, if not all, of those 89 stores had been shut down, including seven stores in Texas and another seven stores in Florida.
Someone hand us a famous Gap brand sweatshirt to snuggle up and cry with, because we’ve got some bad news. Gap Inc. recently announced that it will close about 230 of its stores – accounting for about half of stores around the country.
The big change was announced alongside a few other changes. Gap Inc. also revealed that it will be splitting its business into two companies – one for just Old Navy, which accounts for its highest sales, and the other will include Gap, Banana Republic, Intermix and Hill City. But this is sadly not the only popular fashion brand on this list that will be scaling back this year.
30. J. Crew
While many companies that are closing stores have been up front about the changes, J. Crew has instead tried to keep a little mystery behind what exactly is happening with their downsizing. So far, exactly one store in Georgia, South Carolina, California, Tennessee, Louisiana and Toronto has closed. And there’s more to come.
Last summer, a spokesperson for J. Crew said that the clothing brand would be packing up and leaving from 30 locations. This all comes after a rocky 2018 for the company, which saw the CEO quit after only 17 months on the job. And reports say they may still have more closures to come.
31. Party City
Party City is shutting down 45 of its 870 stores in 2019, which is quite a sharp turn seeing that the company usually closed around 10 to 15 stores in previous years. However, to keep the party going and profitable, these measures had to be taken in light of the worldwide shortage of helium.
While all this news of store closures sure makes for a real party pooper, the good news is that Party City has managed to secure a new source of helium, which takes a little pressure off the company. After all, what’s a party without big balloons?
Drugstore chain CVS Health is closed the curtain on 46 of its stores by April, 2019. The company had to take these drastic measures, as the stores situated across 16 states, were not performing as well as the other 9,600 CVS drugstores across the United States.
CVS is still going strong, based on how many stores are still up and running, but the world’s largest CVS in Springfield, Missouri, was one of the shops that caught the store-closing bug. Just to put that into perspective, the shop measured in at 64,000 square feet, while the other chain stores are around 13,000 square feet.
Kmart will be closing around 37 of its store locations in 2019, adding to the large list of store closures in 2018. This comes as quite a knock to the legacy of the “big three” discount retailers, namely Target, Walmart, and Kmart, which all opened their doors back in 1962. Soon, only two might be standing.
The department store, which back in 2000 peppered the U.S. with some 2,200 stores, is headed towards its untimely death because the chain’s parent company, Sears Holdings, has also closed 89 of its stores in 2019 and shut down 150 Kmart branches in 2018. Only around roughly 360 stores remain standing.
June 24, 2019, was a sad day for Shopko lovers when empty shelves in the remaining Wisconsin branches officially marked the end for the baby gear, toys, clothes, and home retail company. Shoppers flooded to the stores to look for deals and reminisce over what has been a major retailer in the Wisconsin communities.
The company filed for bankruptcy in January, 2019, and after failed attempts by executives to save the company, was forced to close all stores in June. Shopko came about when it went into smaller and more niche-specific markets in the Midwest, West, and Pacific Northwest that other players ignored. Unfortunately, Amazon has come along and claimed its throne, marking the end for Shopko’s reign.
Francesca’s, the women’s clothing and accessories brand, has been around for a great deal of time – 20 years to be exact, so it’s a little sad to hear how the sweeping changes in shopping habits and trends has badly affected the chain.
Over the last few years, Francesca’s has been experiencing less and less foot traffic in its brick and mortar shops, and therefore sales are plummeting. As a result, the CEO Steve Lawrence tried his hand at a few bombastic marketing tactics, but to no avail. The company is being forced to close around 40 of its stores in 2019.
36. Things Remembered
Since 1967, Things Remembered has helped people across America keep special memories alive with its personal engravings, embroidery, jewelry, keepsakes, and all kinds of knick-knacks. Now it seems like the retail chain will need an engraved plaque of remembrance itself, as consumers are started to forget to “remember.”
In early 2019, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and had to resort to close around 400 stores. However, Enesco LLC, a distributor of home and garden as well as giftware, saved the day, somewhat, by purchasing the business. Enesco plans to operate Things Remembered online and through direct mail.
37. Christopher & Banks
Christopher & Banks has specialized in women’s clothing for the age demographic of 40-60 for years, but just like most other clothing retailers, has had to focus its attention on e-commerce sales over the last few years. The company has therefore decided to close up to 40 out of is 450 stories in 2019.
The company faced big issues when too many spring and summer clothing items were left in the shelves in 2018. Moreover, shipping delays made it very hard for the stores to place new merchandise on the display racks. As a result of the last summer quarter flop, sales decreased by 7.5 percent and C&B lost nearly $9 million.
38. Forever 21
On September 29, 2019, Forever 21 announced that it applied for bankruptcy as a strategic decision to restructure the business. A representative of the company told Business Insider, that this decision is geared towards closing certain locations, mainly in Asia and Europe, and therefore is not an indication of the fast fashion clothing retailer going out of business.
The plan is to keep operations running as normal in the US, Mexico, and Latin America, while bidding farewell to many branches across Europe and Asia in order to secure the future of the enterprise. One of the main reasons this business decision was made was because teens are opting for online shopping and the forward-thinking generation opt for eco-friendly garments that this fast-fashion high-street retailer hasn’t quite conquered yet.
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