We recently told you about a number of Sears and Kmart stores set to close this year. Well, there are several other retail stores closing (some have already closed) as well for a number of reasons, including restructuring deals, declining mall traffic, and a boost in e-commerce traffic. Here are ten of those stores.
Subway is the world’s largest restaurant chain–it has almost as many U.S. locations as McDonald’s and Starbucks combined–yet its sales lag behind that of its competitors, which just so happens to be McDonald’s and Starbucks. As a matter of fact, its sales have fallen every year since 2014. Consequently, the sandwich shop started closing stores. More than 1,100 stores were closed between 2016 and 2017, and another 500 are set to close in 2018.
“It’s just not what people want anymore,” Bob Phibbs, chief executive of the Retail Doctor, a New York-based consultancy, said in an article on The Washington Post‘s website. “We aren’t eating the way we used to, and luncheon meats are just not what most people are clamoring for… If you’re in a major metropolitan area, you’re looking for that green salad place,” he added.
Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, announced earlier this year that it planned to close 94 under-performing stores after it filed for bankruptcy protection. The closures are part of a plan to reduce the company’s debt. According to a statement the company made to WINK News in Southwest Florida, Winn-Dixie will continue to operate 582 stores, with plans to remodel a significant portion of them. “This course of action enables us to continue writing the story for our company and our iconic, heritage banners in the Southeast,” Anthony Hucker, President and CEO, said in a statement on the parent company’s website.
8. Sam’s Club
Earlier this year, Sam’s Club announced, rather abruptly, that it was closing 63 store locations across the country and laying off thousands of workers. The news was so sudden that workers didn’t even know the announcement was going to be made. According to local news station KHOU 11 News in Houston, some employees didn’t know about the closure until they showed up for work that day. Other employees were informed of the closings via notices that were sent through FedEx. Ironically, the closings were announced the same day Sam’s Club’s owner, Walmart, announced plans to raise starting hourly wages, expand employee benefits, and offer bonuses.
On the plus side, a Walmart official told Business Insider that membership fees will be refunded to customers affected by the closings.
7. Foot Locker
The shoe store announced in March that it would close 110 stores… but also open 40 new stores. “We continue to prune the fleet of under-productive stores and open a few select, high-profile stores,” CFO Lauren Peters said in a call with investors on March 2, 2018, reported Business Insider. Although Foot Locker has struggled over the years due to declining mall traffic (back in March the company reported a net loss of $49 million in the fourth quarter), they’ve also seen a boost in e-commerce traffic.
In an attempt to keep profits high and operating costs low, Crocs announced it would close manufacturing facilities and some stores, and turn its focus to online sales. The closures–about 160 over the last year–are part of a turnaround strategy that’s been in place since 2014. The company will continue making shoes however, but plans to completely outsource production, reported CBS News. According to Sam Poser, analyst for Susquehanna Financial Group, outsourcing can make it easier for Crocs to meet customer needs.
As part of its $4.4 billion deal to buy more than 1,900 Rite Aid stores and three distribution centers, Walgreens announced plans last October to close 600 stores starting Spring 2018 and continuing over 18 months. According to USA TODAY, company spokesperson Michael Polzin said most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network. Walgreens had originally planned to buy out all Rite Aid stores, but U.S. antitrust authorities halted the deal.
4. Toys R Us
When it comes to this store closure, we’ve got bad news and good news. First, the bad news…
The world’s greatest toy store closed the last of its stores back in June. Toys R Us, which filed for bankruptcy late last year, racked up $5 million in debt and was unable to find a buyer for its stores. Sales had continued to slip for the toy retailer after it took a hit from declining U.S. birth rates and competition from retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon.
And, now for the good news…
Despite closing, the toy giant might actually make a comeback (fingers crossed)! According to The Washington Post, court documents show that the hedge fund that owns the company is considering “a new, operating Toys R Us and Babies R Us branding company.” As a result, the hedge fund decided to hang onto the Toys R Us and Babies R Us names, all domain names, and, of course, the company’s beloved mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe.
3. Best Buy
Best Buy announced in March that it would be closing 250 mobile stores by May 31. According to Business Insider, CEO Hubert Joly said those stores were no longer profitable. “We had opened them about 12 years ago, at a time when the penetration of smartphones was very low, so this was a great growth opportunity. The margins in smartphones were very good. Fast forward to 2018, smartphone penetration is a very mature industry,” Joly told Business Insider. As a result, the company has decided to invest its time and resources in its big-box stores.
2. Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch decided to close 60 stores this year, in addition to closing about 90 stores between 2016 and 2017, as more and more consumers are turning to online shopping. The apparel retailer also owns the Hollister brand, and some of those stores could be closing as well, reported CNBC.
Since closing some of its stores, the retailer has been able to focus its resources on upgrading existing locations into smaller, more open layouts, complete with “Fitting Room Suites”–a setup that allows customers to “go in and try clothes on at the same time, be walled off, take pictures and Snaps of each other… Inside the fitting rooms themselves, customers have the ability to change the lighting to fit what they’re trying on, or adjust the sound or even to charge their smartphones,” reported Fortune.
1. The Children’s Place
According to Fox Business, The Children’s Place announced plans to close 300 stores by 2020 as it shifts its focus to online sales. The children’s clothing and accessories store already closed 200 stores between fiscal 2015 and 2017 after a soft earnings outlook forced the retailer to consider other options.
On a positive note, the retailer recently posted very strong second quarter earnings. Same-store sales rose 13 percent due to particularly high mall traffic last quarter, the retailer’s CEO said.
Do you know of any other stores closing? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!