It’s always a little sad to see a store close down for good. And while 2019 will bring growth and prosperity for some companies, others will end up closing partially and permanently. Even stores that are located in malls–such as Victoria’s Secret, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch–are slowly swirling down the gutter.
What happened to these once-popular chains that forced them to close their doors? Check out which companies will fully or partially close throughout 2019. You’ll want to pounce on those closing sales before the locations dwindle to nothing.
This American shoe store had over 3,000 locations in over 40 countries. In the past couple of years, though, Payless has suffered. In 2016, all stores shut their doors in Australia, relinquishing over 730 jobs. By April 2017, Payless filed for bankruptcy and closed 400 stores in the U.S.
Two years later, the shoe store filed for bankruptcy again, this time on Valentine’s Day 2019. They plan to close all 2,100 stores in the United States and the remaining 248 stores in Canada. Get your shoes discounted while you can.
If you live in the United States, you may see many H&M stores close in 2019. This Swedish brand has over 4,000 stores available in 62 countries, but its U.S. branch isn’t faring so well. H&M employees have announced that they will be closing 160 stores this year.
Although H&M plans to open 350 new stores to accommodate for the loss, most of its growth will remain in Europe. Their U.S. and South Africa stores received backlash after a racial ad campaign in 2018, and they’ll likely shut down all locations in both countries.
While Gap Inc. won’t die anytime soon, its in-store locations will become harder to find. The company owns over 3,000 locations worldwide, 2,406 of which are in the U.S. But its sales declined during the 2018 holiday season, and trends haven’t looked up.
Gap will close over 230 locations over the next two years. Gap Inc. also declared that stores would transfer their goods to other brands that it owns, such as Old Navy and Banana Republic. If you like Gap goods but can’t find a store, check Gap Inc.’s other brands.
Kmart, Target, and Walmart were once known as the “big three” discount retailers, having all come out around 1962. At its peak in 1994, Kmart operated over 2,300 stores in the United States alone. By 2018, the company only held 202 locations.
Kmart declared bankruptcy back in 2002, and then again in 2018. Since sales began declining in 2010, the company has rapidly approached death. Their parent company, Sears Holdings, closed 150 locations in 2018, and plans to close 50 more in 2019. Once the biggest retail chain in the U.S., Kmart won’t last much longer.
Pier 1 Imports
Pier 1 Imports has offered furnishings and decor since 1962. In recent years, however, its revenue, operating income, and net income have dunked. Since May 2016, two CEOs have stepped down, indicating that the company isn’t stable.
Pier 1 plans to close 30 locations throughout 2019, and a further 45-145 in 2020 if they fail to achieve their “performance goals.” Their disorder is so evident that some financial experts predict bankruptcy in years to come. With 973 stores currently open, the chain seems to be rapidly declining.
Victoria’s Secret is the largest American women’s lingerie chain, with over 1,000 stores in over 50 countries. But in recent years, Victoria’s Secret has been on the decline. Ever since former CEO Sharon Jester Turney stepped down in 2016, the brand has sales stagnated and dropped.
Last year, in 2018, Victoria’s Secret’s stock plummeted by 40%. They announced in January 2019 that they would close 53 locations. Although the brand is still alive and kicking, it will continue to close stores if its sales keep descending.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch owns over 1,000 stores along with its offshoot brands, Abercrombie Kids and Hollister Co. Beginning in 2017, however, their net worth dropped from $2 billion to $1.2 billion. By 2018, the brand had closed 29 stores, and a further 40 stores are scheduled to close throughout 2019.
Abercrombie & Fitch is attempting new tactics to stay afloat. They have already toned down the near-nude models, and are buying smaller spaces in malls to keep their brick-and-mortar operations alive. Time will tell if these new ideas help the brand live on.
Charlotte Russe fans may want to head in while stores remain open. The clothing company began in San Francisco in 1975, and at its peak in 2014, it ran 560 stores in 45 states. In February 2019, however, Charlotte Russe filed for bankruptcy.
When the company declared bankruptcy, they announced that they would liquidate their remaining stores and assets. But the plan has recently changed. YM Inc., a Canadian company, bought Charlotte Russe and plans to reopen 100 new stores. Time will tell whether this clothing chain will recover or disappear entirely.
J.C. Penney began in 1902 in downtown areas in the United States and Puerto Rico. Nowadays, most malls in the U.S. include a J.C. Penney. However, since 2011, sales have plummeted. Throughout 2018, the stock shrank by 68%.
In February 2019, J.C. Penney claimed that it would stop selling major appliances. That same month, the company announced that 27 stores would close throughout the year, including 18 full-line department stores. In its first fiscal quarter, J.C. Penney’s net loss was $154 million. The store’s fate seems to be rolling downhill.
Office Depot began selling much-needed desk supplies in 1986, Florida. By 2017, the company owned almost 1,400 stores nationwide. However, they’ve suffered in recent years. Throughout 2019, 50 Office Depot stores will close and liquidate their assets.
Due to Amazon’s reign over the market, Office Depot seems to be struggling. To make matters worse, a more recent scandal tarnished their reputation. In March 2019, Office Depot and Support.com Inc. paid $35 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that they tricked customers into paying computer repair by telling them they had a virus. Needless to say, fewer customers will trust Office Depot from now on.
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Bed, Bath & Beyond owns over 1,500 stores in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. But in April 2019, the company announced a conflicting message. They plan to open 15 stores, while also closing down 40. One month after this announcement, CEO Steven Tamares stepped down.
Even worse, Bed, Bath & Beyond’s treasurer stated that they could close more stores if they can’t negotiate lower lease payments in certain areas. The company has even lowered the number of coupons distributed, which has been one of the store’s most prominent calling cards. The future doesn’t look bright for this home goods chain.
Party City is the largest retailer of holiday and party goods in North America, with over 870 brand locations including Halloween City, Toy City, and Party City. Those who keep up with the brand know that Party City closes 10-15 stores every year. But in 2019, the brand has scheduled to close 45 stores.
CEO James Harrison claims that they close locations to “focus on the most profitable locations” and “help optimize our market level performance.” The company also suffered from helium shortage for a while, but they recently found another supplier that could boost their sales.
Gymboree Group, Inc. owned the children’s clothing stores Gymboree, Crazy 8, and Janie&Jack. At its height in 2010, Gymboree managed 1,200 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. Bain Capital bought the stores that year, and things quickly went downhill.
Recently, Gymboree declared bankruptcy for the second time in January 2019. The first bankruptcy happened in June 2017, although the company climbed out of it by September of that year. This time, they no longer have Janie&Jack, since the store now belongs to Gap Inc. Will Gymboree survive bankruptcy for a second time?
Chico’s/White House Black Market
Since 1983, Chico’s FAS has run three brands: Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma. By 2014, they operated over 1,500 stores throughout the United States and Canada, with further franchise selling in Mexico. However, in March 2019, the company announced that they would close down 100 Chico’s stores, 60 Soma locations, and 90 White House Black Market buildings.
Although their in-person locations suffer, Chico’s is redirecting their strategy. In 2016, Chico’s FAS sold to Brentwood Associates, which seems to endorse online purchases. You can still shop for these clothes online, but the brick-and-mortar locations may not survive the coming years.
Since 1886, Sears has sold all sorts of commodities throughout the U.S. It remained the number one domestic retailer until 1989 when Walmart surpassed it. Although Sears has maintained its relevancy, its stores have dunked in popularity.
In October 2018, Sears’ parent company Kmart filed for bankruptcy. Sears itself filed for bankruptcy in January 2019. Over 90 locations will be closing nationwide, namely in Texas in Florida. Although 425 locations will remain operational, nobody knows how long these final stores will last.
Express Is Closing 100 Stores By 2022
In January 2020, the popular clothing store Express announced that it would be closing 91 of its retail locations following disappointing holiday sales. The company called the move part of a “fleet rationalization” in response to a variety of challenges it’s facing, such as online competition, a dip in mall foot-traffic, and rival retailers.
By the end of the month, Express planned to close 31 stores. By the following January (2021), an additional 35 would close and the remainder would be shuttered by 2022. Nine other stores were already closed which brings the tally to 100.
Vera Bradley is an American handbag and luggage company founded in 1985. Although the company opened hundreds of stores in the U.S. that lasted decades, it will no longer sell through stores. Vera Bradley publicized that it would close all stores in February 2019.
As of May 2019, less than 200 stores remain. However, Vera Bradley factory outlets will remain operating in over 60 locations. It’s possible that this brand will continue to sell bags through other store outlets. But by 2020, you won’t see any individual Vera Bradley store.
Of all the stores dissolving in 2019, Henri Bendel has the most history. The women’s accessories store originated from New York in 1895 and was the first retailer to offer in-house makeovers and market a signature fragrance.
Since 1985, the company L Brands owned and operated Henri Bendel. In September 2018, however, L Brands announced that all 23 stores would close. They fulfilled their promise in January 2019, and the historical chain is now defunct.
Destination Maternity/A Pea In The Pod
Destiny Maternity Corporation owns Destiny Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, and A Pea in the Pod. It began in 1982 and expanded to the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. But in early 2019, Destination Maternity announced that it will close between 42 and 67 stores before 2020.
However, the company doesn’t only rely on stores. It seems to gain plenty of profit from its online store, rather than its 474 in-person stores. Expecting mothers may need to shop online for fitting clothes in the future.
Z Gallerie is a decorative furniture store with over 50 locations in 21 states. This privately-owned chain has struggled recently. On March 11, 2019, Z Gallerie filed voluntary petitions to restructure under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
In laymen terms, the store is saying that they’re in trouble and needs somebody to buy them. With 20% of stores (around 12) closing this year, the future doesn’t look bright for Z Gallerie. Perhaps a larger company will purchase and revive the chain.
Performance Bicycle has struggled for several years now. In August 2016, Advanced Sports International bought the company, intending to help the struggling brand return its profits. But even this parent company couldn’t keep Performance Bicycle afloat.
In November 2018, Performance Bicycle filed for bankruptcy. Soon after, Advanced Sports announced that 102 stores would close. By February 2019, only 62 Performance Bicycle locations remain. All remaining stores are scheduled to close sometime within the next year. However, Tiger Group won Advanced Sports International in a 2019 auction, so there may be some hope for Performance Bicycle after all.
Elon Musk’s focus will go towards online sales rather than brick and motor. In February of 2019, Tesla said they’re going to keep a small number of stores open as “galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers.”
You’ll be heading to the storefronts to freshen up your knowledge on the products and buy Tesla merchandise. They were previously opening up shops in malls throughout the country and they had plenty overseas as well. The online industry is where the cash is at now.
As necessary as having a CVS in your neighborhood may be, that isn’t stopping the national drugstore chain from closing 46 of its locations across the country. CVS experienced an increase in profits during the first quarter of the year with a generated cash flow from operations that totaled to $1.9 billion.
Still, that doesn’t mean all the stores are working to contribute to that number. The chain has decided to cut the fat and eliminate the stores that are underperforming. This includes several locations in Northern California, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, and Texas.
In May 2019, Fred’s Inc. closed 159 of its locations in what they called an effort to “maximize value for all shareholders.” This involved closing the stores that are underperforming or were straight-up unprofitable for the company at large.
Prominent throughout the southeastern United States, Fred’s has been many Americans’ go-to store for deep-discounts since 1947, especially since the implementation of their Xpress pharmacy locations across the nation. They previously operated 179 pharmacy stores but have sold their pharmacy assets to Walgreen’s as a part of this change.
Dressbarn announced that they will close all of their 650 stores across the nation. This announcement came on May 20, 2019. Operations will still run as usual, allowing customers to use their gift cards, return items, and exchange purchases.
“For more than 50 years, Dressbarn has served women’s fashion needs, and we thank all of our dedicated associates for their commitment to Dressbarn and our valued customers,” said Steven Taylor, Dressbarn’s chief financial officer, in a statement.
The Children’s Place
By 2020, The Children’s Place plans on closing 300 underperforming stores. Forbes reported that the children’s store shut down 191 stores by the end of 2018, with a little over 100 retailers left to go.
Their main efforts are beefing up their online presence so that they can boost profitability. Yet another business shifting their focus to all things online. At this rate, there won’t be anymore shopping malls for people to walk through and enjoy.
One of Home Depot’s direct competitors, Lowe’s already closed 51 of their underperforming stores. 20 of them were in the United States and the other 31 were in Canada and this all happened in 2019.
Lowe’s made this announcement late in 2018, with hopes to finish by February 1, 2019. All of this happened after former J.C. Penny CEO Marvin R. Ellison took over once longtime CEO Robert Niblock stepped down. They’re desperately trying to figure things out.
Not everyone can say that “He went to Jared” after parent company Signet Jewelers closed 262 Jared, Zales, and Kay Jewelers jewelry stores in 2019. Due to decreasing sales, the company has implemented a three-year plan they dubbed the “Path to Brilliance” transformation, which involved closing 13 percent of its stores.
Most of the jewelry stores that have failed to make an impact are those that can be found in shopping malls, which in general have been losing customers to online retailers. Signet hopes to redesign some stores and maximize their smaller branches while focusing on their online market knowing that jewelry customers tend to shop online before visiting stores anyway.
Midwesterners may be displeased to hear that ShopKo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the start of 2019, announcing that it would be closing all of its locations by the summertime. Initially, the company had only planned to close 38 stores as a part of a restructuring plan that also involved relocating 20 optical centers. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t pan out.
By June, all 360 ShopKo locations throughout 26 states have shuttered their doors for good. “This is not the outcome that we had hoped for when we started our restructuring efforts. We want to thank all of our teammates for their hard work and dedication during their time at ShopKo,” CEO Russ Steinhorst told La Crosse Tribune.
As big-name department stores that once anchored shopping malls are starting to suffer the effects of losing customers to Amazon and other online retailers, Nordstrom has always seemed like the one department store that was here to stay. Surprisingly, this isn’t actually the case. In fact, Nordstrom closes about two stores a year if the mall they’re located in is going through renovations or if it doesn’t meet the company’s brand standards.
In 2019, locations in Norfolk, Virginia, and Wellington, Florida were closed in April. The Providence, Rhode Island location—the only Nordstrom store in the entire state—is also getting the cut.
Christopher & Banks
Another women’s clothing store takes a hit. As Christopher & Banks revealed in late 2018, the retailer plans on closing 30 to 40 stores over the span of two years. That isn’t a sign of bad sales.
They’re just trying to beat the competition before their numbers may take a turn. They’ve noticed the rise of e-commerce and plan on increasing net sales in 2019. It sounds like they’re moving in a smarter direction than a few of the other retailers on this list.
With so many competitors in the cosmetics business, it’s hard to attract attention to your storefront. Especially when the others offer delivery and trial services. e.l.f. Cosmetics is getting rid of their retail locations to focus on the digital side of things.
All of their physical locations reportedly shut down by March 2019. All e.l.f. Cosmetics customers must now shop for their eyeliner and lipstick on the company website and hope they don’t pick the wrong shade!
Late in 2018, Beauty Brands made the announcement that so many other’s needed to announce as well. They told all of their customers that the closure of their 25 stores was on the way.
The company also cut down on their corporate staff and filed for bankruptcy in January. Their filing notion was quite sad as well, citing that the brand suffered thanks to operating as “a predominantly brick and mortar retailer.” When will these stores ever learn?
With all the rebranding and renovation that most Target stores are seeing these days, it’s almost unbelievable that the company is going to lose some of its locations. But even for how successful and profitable Target is, some locations are still struggling to keep up with the company’s expectations.
At the beginning of 2019, Target announced it would be closing six locations across Minnesota, Chicago, Tenessee, New York, and Wisconsin due to those locations’ underperforming numbers. But it isn’t all sad news for Target, who plans on opening 20 brand-new smaller locations to make up for the losses.
In recent years, Kohl’s stores have fared better than some big-name department stores that you saw at your favorite shopping malls. With a considerable selection of clothes, shoes, housewares, toys, and more, Kohl’s stores at local strip malls are much more convenient to go to than a large mall.
Still, Kohl’s didn’t see the sales they expected to during the 2018 holiday season which has led the company to decide that cutting off the underperformers would be the best course of action. All four of its Off/Aisle locations will be closing but four new, smaller stores will balance out the loss.
Lord & Taylor
Before Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and even Macy’s, there was Lord & Taylor. America’s oldest luxury department store has been around since 1826 and for over a century its flagship location on Fifth Avenue in New York City has served many high-end shoppers’ tastes—that is, until 2018 when it closed the location for good.
The flagship location wasn’t the only Lord & Taylor storefront to say goodbye as parent company Hudson’s Bay Company decided to let go of several other locations as well. This is happening as the brand takes on a new partnership with Walmart that involves installing a Lord & Taylor site within Walmart.com.
As early as 2009, Americans were thrilled when fast-fashion chain Topshop made its British invasion in the United States, opening its first store in New York. Even celebrities like Jay-Z and Kate Moss were excited to celebrate the British chain’s arrival across the pond.
Unfortunately, stateside Topshop couldn’t stand to make it past ten years and is already shuttering multiple locations in the United States. All 11 of its U.S. locations, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, and San Diego, will no longer be with us as its parent company has filed for bankruptcy.
The plight of the American shopping mall has hit the department stores the hardest, but specialty clothing stores are feeling these effects as well. One such example is J. Crew, whose executives announced that they plan to close at least 20 locations during 2019.
Of these closures, J. Crew plans to get rid of some outlet locations as well as its specialty stores such as the “Liquor Store,” a male-centric store that the company operated for more than a decade out of New York’s lower Manhattan.
Southeastern Grocers may not be a company you recognize off the bat, but if you live anywhere within the southeastern states, then you’re definitely familiar with its subsidiaries, Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, and Harveys.
As customers are more in favor of shopping at big-box chains like Walmart and Costco or even opting for Amazon, our local grocers are suffering. About two dozen Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, and Harvey’s locations will be shutting down in 2019 which is a huge loss less than a year after it already closed 100 locations after going through bankruptcy.
Up to 40 Francesca’s locations will no longer be in existence after 2019. The women’s clothing and accessories mecca has been suffering a loss in profit due to its failure to generate foot traffic into its stores, which is likely a result of the shopping mall epidemic.
To try to reverse their losses, CEO Steve Lawrence has announced plans to draw in more customers with “more disruptive window displays and visual effects,” in addition to boosting its e-commerce sales. Still, the company has refrained from many of its remodels, opting instead to close stores entirely.
One of many discount store chains, Family Dollar plans on closing down a ton of stores, while renovating a lot more. “We are confident we are taking the appropriate steps to reposition our Family Dollar brand for increasing profitability as business initiatives gain traction in the back half of fiscal 2019,” CEO Gary Philbin said in announcing the results.
After Dollar Tree purchased Family Dollar in 2015, they’ve been focused on improving the look of stores because many of them look run down.