These days, it’s likely your local mall or high street looks quite different compared to just a few years ago. But it’s not only the arrival of new shops that is transforming the retail landscape, some of America’s best-loved brick-and-mortar chains have closed a number of their stores, too. So with that in mind, let’s discover which ones are closing and why.
A poor showing in 2019 led to the closure of over 300 brick-and-mortar GameStop stores, the company announced that year. It also added that the same number or more is expected to shut up shop in 2020. However, this might just be a sound business decision: as it stands, every GameStop in the world apparently has two others on average within a five-mile radius.
46. Bed, Bath and Beyond
It may be a mainstay of the American mall, but even the beloved homeware chain Bed, Bath and Beyond hasn’t escaped the woes that are plaguing the retail sector. Between January and April 2020, the firm said that it would be closing 40 stores nationwide. Among the casualties of the retailer’s cull are the Honolulu and Rhode Island outposts. Meanwhile, residents of Ohio will lose not one, but four Bed, Bath and Beyond stores.
Marking Christmas parties and christenings are just two of the events that may be that bit more difficult for the residents of some U.S. cities in the future. That’s after local media reports claimed that Hallmark will be closing 16 of its stores in 2020. Among those already shut is the company’s shop in Forest Park, Illinois, which bid farewell that January.
44. Forever 21
The troubled fashion retailer Forever 21 has enjoyed rather less favor as of late. Sadly, it announced in 2020 that it expected to be closing a whopping 350 of its shops worldwide that year. And for those in the U.S., up to 178 stores are believed to be shutting down. In September 2019 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and said that it would “exit most international locations in Asia and Europe.”
It won’t be music to the ears of audiophiles: global audio equipment vendor Bose is to call time on 119 of its stores worldwide. Included in this number is the entirety of the retailer’s brick-and-mortar shops in the U.S., although Bose stores will remain in selected locations across Asia and the United Arab Emirates. The company added that it had opened its first U.S. retail shop way back in 1993.
42. Neiman Marcus Last Call
Neiman Marcus delivered a blow to bargain lovers in March 2020 when it announced that it would be closing most of its Last Call stores across the United States. The company said that the “majority” of the 22 Last Call cut-price discount outlets are to get the chop that year. Instead, the firm said that it will instead focus on its its luxury lines.
41. Olympia Sports
As if the cancelation of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo wasn’t enough of a blow to sports fans, they’ll also have to contend with the shutdown of 76 Olympia Sports stores. The move comes after the retailer JackRabbit acquired the firm in the previous October.
40. Modell’s Sporting Goods
Modell’s Sporting Goods – which has passed through four generations of the eponymous family – opened its first shop in Manhattan in 1889. Sadly, the venerable retailer was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2020, and all of its 141 outlets are set to be shut down.
39. Earth Fare
The increased interest in healthy living simply wasn’t enough to save most of organic and natural grocery chain Earth Fare’s stores. In February 2020 the company announced that it would shut down all 50 of its establishments which span a total of ten states. The company cited “continued challenges in the retail industry” as the reason for its decision. But it’s not all bad news; two months later Earth Fare said that it would be re-opening two of its stores in Charleston, South Carolina.
38. Destination Maternity
Destination Maternity is the largest retailer for baby products anywhere in the world. However, a filing for bankruptcy protection in the fall of 2019 recorded a staggering $244 million in total debt at the company. As a result, it plans to shelve a total of 183 of its outlets across Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States.
The planned closure of stores across the U.S. is likely to prove a bitter pill to swallow for thousands of employees at Walgreens. The second biggest chain of pharmacies in the U.S. said in the summer of 2019 that it would shutter approximately 200 stores over the following year. Among the shops to have closed thus far are three San Francisco branches, and this includes one in the city’s famed Market Street.
36. CVS Pharmacy
Also taking a hit is the company that pips Walgreens to the post as the largest pharmacy chain in the United States: CVS Pharmacy. The retailer is on course to close down around 22 of its outlets throughout 2020. However, this is only half the number closed down compared to the year before, and the company still operates more than 9,900 stores.
Launched in 1983, fashion and underwear retailer Chico’s takes its name from a parrot belonging to a friend of its founders. However, the company – which serves women over the age of 30 with clothes and accessories – announced that its moving away from brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, 250 shops across the U.S. are expected to close their doors by the beginning of 2022.
34. Office Depot
And it’s not just the fashion industry which is suffering at the moment. Office Depot has said that it plans to axe 90 of its U.S. branches by 2021. Apparently, the retailer plans to focus its attention on business-to-business services instead.
33. Lucky’s Market
Yet another casualty in the cutthroat world of supermarket stores is Lucky’s Market – a natural and organic grocery chain established in Colorado in 2003. The retailer is to shut down 32 of its stores, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Sadly, this means that around 2,500 employees will lose their jobs.
32. Pier 1 Imports
Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports revealed in January 2020 that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It also aims to close up to 450 of its 936 branches and all of its stores in Canada. That April Bloomberg News then reported that a potential buyer – CSC Generation – had proposed closing 90 percent of the company’s stores in return for acquiring its assets. According to The New York Times, stock shares in the firm had plummeted by more than 99 percent of their value between May 2013 and February 2020.
31. A.C. Moore
Arts and crafts chain A.C. Moore has called time on all of its approximately 145 stores across the country. It’s a sad development for a brand that’s grown from humble origins, having been established by one man – Jack Parker – in New Jersey in 1985. One positive point is that around 40 of the stores will reportedly be taken over fellow craft store: Michaels.
Iconic department store Sears was once the largest department store in the United States. Those halcyon days seem far away, however, as the retailer is now in big trouble, with 51 branches of Sears readying to have their tills ring out no more. It’s all part of “pruning operations” by the chain’s parent company – Transform Holdco – which also owns Kmart. At the time of writing, the company also announced that due to events in spring 2020, all Sears stores would remain temporarily closed through April.
It’s a double whammy for Transform Holdco, the company that owns both Sears and Kmart. That’s because the latter firm is closing a number of stores in 2020, too. Among the 45 Kmarts shutting up shop is the brand’s famous outlet on West 34th Street in Manhattan, New York. On its opening in 1995, the store was described by the company’s chairman Joe Antonini as “a true ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’”
Another American institution taking a hit from the veritable collapse of the retail sector is luxury department store Bloomingdale’s. The firm shut down its Miami outpost – one of only 35 full-line stores across the United States – in January 2020. And that shop had weathered plenty over the years: including a category five hurricane in 1992.
Yet another department store to be hit hard by the decline of mall shopping is Macy’s. In February the retailer stated that it plans to shut down 125 of its stores over the subsequent three years. The closures amount to around a fifth of the company’s existing fleet of shops.
It’s a challenge staying relevant in the cutthroat world of fashion today, where social media utilization can translate into millions of dollars-worth of sales. Unfortunately for Express, which has just one million Instagram followers to Zara’s 40 million, it looks like this may be an uphill struggle. Sadly, the brand revealed plans in January 2020 to cut 100 of its stores within two years.
The clothes and home goods giant currently operates around 850 stores in Puerto Rico and the United States. But unfortunately for JCPenney, this seems to be a few too many as it’s to say goodbye to a dozen of its stores in 2020. And in April that year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is considering a Chapter 11 bankruptcy loan of up to $1 billion to keep the business afloat.
24. Art Van Furniture
The seemingly unstoppable rise of online shopping was one reason the death knell sounded for the Midwest mattress and furniture chain Art Van Furniture. That’s according to the company’s bankruptcy filing, which cited competition from online stores Wayfair and Amazon as among its issues. Sadly, all of Art Van Furniture’s approximately 200 stores are to go in 2020.
As consumers now predominately send messages online, greeting cards and stationery chain Papyrus has found itself in trouble. Its parent company Tennessee-based Schurman Fine Papers filed for bankruptcy that January. It also announced the closure of its 254 Papyrus, American Greetings and Carlton Card stores. Papyrus-branded cards will still be available to buy from other vendors, however.
In January 2020 the clothing giant Gap announced that 230 locations across the U.S. would be closing by the following February. Apparently, poor showings over the holiday period in 2018 provoked the decision by to axe around half of its stores within three years. The retailer said that it would instead focus on growing the store count of some of its other brands: including Athleta and Old Navy.
Even off-price and discounted products can’t guarantee retail success in today’s precarious marketplace, as Midwestern department store Gordmans has learned. Its parent company Stage Stores has opted to shut down 200 outlets either trading as Gordmans already or due to be converted into one. Poor sales and tight finances are said to be among the reasons for the closures.
20. Christopher & Banks
The power of the pensioners’ dollar wasn’t enough to keep the fashion retailer Christopher & Banks in blooming financial health. The brand’s shares plummeted so much it was removed from the New York Stock Exchange, while it plans to close up to 40 stores before the end of 2020.
19. New York & Company
Purveyor of women’s fashion, New York & Company has made it through over 100 years of trading. And it’s had a little help with celebrity endorsements from the likes of Brooke Shields and Eva Mendes along the way. But against a backdrop of increasing online shopping, New York & Company had closed 27 of its branches by February 2020 in an attempt to weather the so-called “retail apocalypse.”
18. Lord & Taylor
Founded in 1826, Lord & Taylor is the oldest department store in the United States. Sadly for two of the retailer’s establishments, their impeccable heritage couldn’t ensure their continued operation. Both the Lord & Taylor at the Palisades Center in New York’s suburbs and the branch at Tyson’s Corner Center in Virginia said their goodbyes in early 2020.
As of January 2020, Walmart was operating 11,503 stores and clubs in 27 countries worldwide. Three of the U.S. shops among these are to close in 2020, however. They include two in North Carolina and one in the university town of Ypsilanti in Michigan.
16. J. Crew
Michelle Obama may be a fan, but clothing retailer J. Crew has nonetheless amassed $1.4 billion worth of debt. This dismal financial situation is unlikely to be helped by a temporary closure of all the company’s stores since March 2020 due to the global health issue.
Chances are, you may be reading this on an Apple device, in which case you ought to take note: the tech giant has closed all of its retail stores globally aside from those located in Greater China. The Apple shops began to temporarily shut in March 2020 and, at the time of writing, they’re expected to stay closed until at least the beginning of May, Bloomberg reported.
The sporting and athletic goods favorite temporarily shut down all of its branches across Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, Canada, and the U.S. effective in March 2020. All employees at Nike will be compensated for lost shifts, a company spokesperson stated to CNBC.
The French beauty brand Sephora – which famously pioneered the “try before you buy” approach to cosmetics retail – announced that it would temporarily close all of its North American stores from March 2020 due to events that spring. And at the time of writing, a reopening date of early April was pushed back.
12. Victoria’s Secret
The lingerie and underwear retailer put an end to its controversial “Angels” fashion show in 2019, and now it’s put a temporary end to trading in its brick-and-mortar stores. The brand made the announcement in the following March that it would be closing its stores in the US and Canada temporarily via its website. A month earlier the company confirmed also that it had permanently closed eight stores in Canada.
11. Lush Cosmetics
Soap and bodywash firm Lush Cosmetics announced the temporary closure of its 258 shops in Canada and the U.S. in March 2020 due to the global health emergency. However, late the following month the company said that it had began reopening its shops in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
10. Abercrombie & Fitch
Not long ago, a visit to an Abercrombie & Fitch was an experience in itself: think topless employees, an overwhelming stench of its signature fragrances and loud music. Today, a visit to one of its stores couldn’t look more different. In March that year the brand temporarily closed all of its branches aside from those in the Asia-Pacific region, and this remains the case at the time of writing.
9. Disney Store
If you want to get your fix of all things Disney, you’ll have to content yourself with the company’s streaming platform. That’s because all of its retail stores shut their doors in March 2020 due to the global health issue and it’s unclear when they will reopen. In addition, the Disney’s theme parks across Europe and America have closed temporarily.
Yoga and athletic apparel brand Lululemon is also among the plethora of companies to shut their bricks-and-mortars shops for the timebeing. Stores across Europe and North America are shut, although online “sweat sessions” are available to customers along with the company’s usual products.
The outdoor pursuits and apparel brand L.L.Bean has closed the doors to all of its stores across Canada and the United States temporarily. However, like the other companies mentioned here which are closing stores but not the whole business, it is still processing orders online.
6. The Body Shop
All-natural and cruelty free beauty brand The Body Shop is another business temporarily closing its stores. The company – which has operations in over 65 countries – ceased trading in its brick-and-mortar shops in the U.S. and Europe in March 2020.
5. Ralph Lauren
Consistently one of the big players in the fashion world, Ralph Lauren is among the many brands which suspended sales in their retail stores. CEO Patrice Louvet has said that the company will closely monitor the situation and act on expert advice when deciding when it will reopen them.
It’s not only older, heritage brands that are shutting their doors for the timebeing in 2020. Glossier – the beauty brand loved by millennials and launched in 2014 – has also called a halt to trading in its U.S. stores. In fact, the retailer was one of the first to close its doors during the international health issue.
3. Calvin Klein
You’ll have to go online if you want to nab some of Calvin Klein’s signature branded smalls just now. That’s after the fashion and underwear retailer temporarily shut up shop in all of its stores across Europe and North America in March. But the company’s woes extend further back; in 2019 it permanently closed its flagship store in Madison Avenue, New York.
2. Urban Outfitters
Fashion retailer Urban Outfitters joined numerous other companies and shuttered all of its stores across the United States “until further notice” in March. What’s more, the retail shops for sister brands Anthropologie and Free People – all of which belong to parent company URBN – also remain closed at the time of writing.
1. New Balance
New Balance, like its competitors, temporarily closed its stores in North America and Western Europe at the same time. It also shut down its factories along with company offices, and at the time of writing it is unclear when they’ll be opening again.