If you like fingering fabrics and spritzing perfume samples, you’d better hurry. More chain stores will be disappearing in 2020, and several mainstay retailers are rethinking the whole idea of having brick-and-mortar locations.
A staggering number of stores have shut down in 2019: more than 9,000, way up from the 5,800 that closed in 2018, according to Coresight Research.
But 2020 might be the grimmest year so far.
Here are the major retailers that already have plans to close stores in 2020, starting with the biggest announcements. Are these chains losing the battle against e-commerce giants?
Stores closing in 2020: Up to 250
Chico's specializes in sophisticated clothing, accessories and intimates for women. It serves "the lifestyle needs of fashion-savvy women 30 years and older," according to its website.
The company was founded in 1983 by a husband and wife team and named after a friend’s parrot. It grew rapidly to more than 1,400 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
Now, the chain is shifting gears away from traditional stores. That spells the end for 250 U.S. locations by early 2022.
Chico’s has partnered with Amazon, ShopRunner and QVC to accommodate its 8 million customers' changing needs and shopping behaviors.
This company also includes the Soma and White House Black Market stores.
Stores closing in 2020: Up to 230
The Gap chain is shrinking — in more ways that one.
It's on its way to closing around half of its stores through 2020. The company made that decision after a not-so-merry 2018 holiday season that saw Gap's sales decline 5%. It's not clear how many stores have shut down so far.
Not only that, but remaining stores will be reduced in size. Robert Fisher, chairman of the board, says the closures will breathe new life into the 50-year-old brand.
Maybe the most shocking development is Gap Inc.'s planned divorce from Old Navy. That younger chain will say "OK boomer" and hit the road — to spin off as a separate company.
3. A.C. Moore
Stores closing in 2020: More than 145
The arts and crafts chain A.C. Moore will be no more in 2020.
The retailer — whose stores are known for their generous coupons and are found primarily east of the Mississippi — is going out of business. The company's announcement suggested the closings would come early in the new year.
"Unfortunately, given the headwinds facing many retailers in today's environment, it made it very difficult for us to operate and compete on a national level," A.C. Moore's CEO Anthony Piperno said, in a statement.
The first store was opened in New Jersey in 1985 by a guy named Jack Parker. Up to 40 of the A.C. Moore locations may reopen as Michaels arts and crafts stores.
4. Office Depot
Stores closing in 2020: Up to 90
You may have to drive farther on your lunch hour for ink cartridges and mailing envelopes.
Seeing greater potential in business-to-business services, Office Depot has announced it will close 90 locations by 2021. That's on top of 55 that have gone dark over the last year.
The office supplies company also owns OfficeMax, so some of those stores are on the chopping block as well.
At its peak in 2006, the retailer’s stock price reached almost $44. It was a mere $2.50 in the third quarter of 2019.
CEO Joe Lower has told investors that the company's stores might account for only 20% of all sales within three years.
5. Bed Bath & Beyond
Stores closing in 2020: Up to 60
Bed Bath & Beyonds are behemoths. Some occupy more than 80,000 square feet and display around 300,000 items from floor to ceiling. That’s a lot of bath mats, bed sheets and potholders.
The retailer plans to turn 40 of those stores into empty big boxes by March 2020. Another 20 stores are closing from the other chains BB&B owns, including buybuy BABY and Cost Plus World Market.
As of the end of August 2019, the company had more than 1,500 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including about 1,000 Bed Bath & Beyond locations.
Executives say the goal is to strike a better balance between the retailer's brick-and-mortar trade and its digital presence.
Stores closing in 2020: 51
Sears is more than 130 years old — and is dying a slow death.
The iconic chain was once the largest retailer in the country, and it played a key role in the rise of shopping malls.
Its innovative mail-order catalogue forever changed the way people shop. The next time you order a rug or a refrigerator, you’ll have Sears to thank.
The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2019, but not looking any stronger. The months since have seen one round of store closings after another. Dozens more will be shutting down by February 2020.
The chain's current owner says in a statement that it's "pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors."
Stores closing in 2020: 45
The home of the Blue Light Special first opened under the name Kmart in 1962. The discount chain had almost 2,500 locations worldwide in 1994, but the retailer closed hundreds when it filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
Two years later, Kmart merged with Sears. And that's when things really started going bad.
The lights have steadily been going out at Kmart stores in recent years. Dozens have shut down in 2019. Nearly 50 more will close by February 2020.
And that will leave just 182 Sears and Kmart stores still in business. Transformco, the company that now owns the two chains, says the business has faced "a difficult retail environment and other challenges."
8. Christopher & Banks
Stores closing in 2020: Up to 40
Gil Braun opened Braun’s Fashions in Minneapolis in 1956. He said he found the local women "full of life and wisdom" and aimed to provide them with high fashion at affordable prices.
In 2000, Braun’s evolved into the brands Christopher & Banks and CJ Banks. The chain quickly expanded to 500 locations.
But lately, Christopher & Banks has looking at the math. During one quarter in 2018, the company lost $8.8 million, but its online sales increased almost 11%. So, the company is cutting back on stores and shifting resources to its e-commerce business.
The plan is to close 30 to 40 stores by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, the retailer's stock has dropped so low that it has been removed from the New York Stock Exchange.
9. New York & Co.
Stores closing in 2020: 27
New York & Co. was hoping for more of the usual Black Friday craziness.
Instead, the after-Thanksgiving shopping holiday was disappointingly quiet — and a symptom of the problems at the women's fashion and accessories retailer. Shoppers are visiting the chain's stores less often while spending more time on the company's website.
In response, owner RTW Retailwinds is closing 27 of the shops by early February, including 19 New York & Company locations, four Fashion to Figure stores, and four New York & Co. outlets.
New York & Co. is known for its collaborations with celebrities, including the actresses Gabrielle Union and Eva Mendes. The company was founded more than 100 years ago as Lerner Shops.
Stores closing in 2020: 22
CVS intends to close fewer than two dozen of its drugstores in 2020, which is about half the number that have shut down in 2019.
You'll still find one on nearly ever corner, because there will be roughly 9,900 remaining CVS locations.
The neighborhood pharmacy and retail chain is focusing on its stores that have MinuteClinics, which offer basic, walk-in medical services. That strategy is right in line with the parent company's name, CVS Health.
There are 1,100 clinics so far. If you need a flu shot, suspect a bladder infection or dare to undergo a cholesterol screening, you’re in the right place.
Chief Financial Officer Eva Boratto hopes that shuttering underperforming stores will generate "enhanced longer-term performance."
11. Pier 1 Imports
Stores closing in 2020: At least 4
Pier 1 Imports is having trouble drawing shoppers to its familiar assortment of scented candles, silk pillows and wicker furniture. So, the chain has been slashing its stores.
It has closed at least 70 locations in 2019 and indicated that at another 70 could be on the chopping block.
Media reports indicate that at least four will shut down in early 2020, including all three Pier 1 stores in Alaska. Sorry Alaskans, but next time you need a new Pier 1 throw to help you stay warm, you'll have to buy it online.
The retailer has been in negotiations with its landlords in hopes of keeping some stores open. There are still about 950 in the U.S. and Canada.
12. Lord & Taylor
Stores closing in 2020: 2
Lord & Taylor has been around since 1826. The original store in Manhattan advertised “fashionable dry goods” such as cloaks, shawls, mourning attire, laces and embroideries.
The chain has been withering in recent years and closed its New York City flagship store in January 2019.
Two locations will shutter in early 2020: at Tysons Corner Center in Virginia and at Palisades Center in suburban New York.
The company has cited economic reasons for the closures and says it will work closely to help laid-off employees through the transition.
L&T’s future is highly uncertain. Le Tote, a fashion rental subscription service out of San Francisco, recently acquired the Lord & Taylor chain from Hudson’s Bay, the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Stores closing in 2020: 1
In the latest example of how Macy's is struggling, a landmark location in downtown Seattle will close in February 2020. The eight-story building occupies a whole city block and bears Macy’s name.
However, the store was downsized to two floors in recent years. Ironically, Amazon currently leases the top six floors of the building. That’s got to hurt.
So far, that's the only Macy's store marked for closure in 2020, but it's almost a given that there will be more. The company usually releases a list right after the holiday season.
The retail icon grew from a small dry goods outfit opened in New York City in 1851. It will take the likes of a miracle on 34th Street to save the aging giant.
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