Retail Apocalypse: These big retailers closing stores, filing for bankruptcy

By RetailFOXBusiness

Payless to close all remaining stores: Report

FOX Business’ Susan Li reports on discount retailer Payless shoes who is expected to file for bankruptcy.

Some of the United States’ most prominent retailers are shuttering stores or declaring bankruptcy in recent months amid sagging sales in the troubled sector.

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The rise of ecommerce outlets like Amazon has made it harder for traditional retailers to attract customers to their stores and forced companies to change their sales strategies. Many companies have turned to sales promotions and increased digital efforts to lure shoppers while shutting down brick-and-mortar locations.

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Discount footwear retailer Payless became the latest company affected by the trend, after sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the company would shutter all of its roughly 2,300 U.S. stores while filing for bankruptcy later this month. FOX Business breaks down which prominent retailers have closed stores or filed for bankruptcy in recent months.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Facing declining sales, the once-prominent fashion brand announced in March 2017 that it would close 60 of its U.S. stores with expiring leases during its 2017 fiscal year. The chain has closed hundreds of store locations over the last few years while placing an increased emphasis on online sales.

Aerosoles

The New Jersey-based women’s footwear company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and announced plans to move forward with a “significant reduction” of its retail locations. While it’s unclear how many of Aerosoles’ 88 locations will be affected, the chain said it plans to keep four flagship stores in New York and New Jersey operational, NJ.com reported.

American Apparel

A fashion brand known for its edgy offerings, American Apparel shuttered all of its 110 U.S. locations in 2017 after filing for bankruptcy. The brand has since been acquired by Canada-based Gildan Activewear, which bought its intellectual property in an $88 million deal.

BCBG

The Los Angeles-based brand listed liabilities of more than $500 million when it filed for bankruptcy in February 2017. The chain closed 118 store locations nationwide that year, though more than 300 remained in operation under a company-wide reorganization.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

The struggling department store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to court papers filed in February. The chain, which operates 256 stores in 23 states, also announced it planned to close 42 stores in 2018 as part of a restructuring plan.

The Children’s Place

A fixture at shopping malls, the children’s clothing retail said it will close hundreds of store locations by 2020 as part of a shift toward digital commerce.

CVS

The pharmacy retailer said it would close 70 store locations in 2017 as part of a bid to cut costs and streamline its business. CVS still operates thousands of stores nationwide.

Guess

Guess announced plans to close 60 of its struggling U.S. store locations in 2017 as part of a plan to refocus on international markets.

Gymboree

The children's clothing retailer was expected to file for bankruptcy for the second time in two years, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. The company will shutter 900 stores and seek a potential sale of its other brands.

Hhgregg

The electronics retailer said it would close all of its 220 stores and lay off thousands of employees when it failed to find a buyer after bankruptcy proceedings.

J.C. Penney

The department store chain closed 138 stores in 2017 while restructuring its business to meet shifting consumer tastes. The retailer also announced plans to open toy shops in all of its remaining brick-and-mortar locations. J.C. Penney plans to close 3 more stores in 2019.

The Limited

After a brutal holiday season in 2016, the clothing chain closed all 250 of its physical stores in January 2017 as part of a bid to focus on ecommerce. The closures reportedly resulted in the loss of about 4,000 jobs.

Macy’s

The major retailer said in January 2018 that it would shutter an additional seven stores that were previously undisclosed and lay off some 5,000 workers as part of an ongoing effort to streamline its business and adjust to a difficult sales environment.

Michael Kors

With same-store sales plunging, the upscale fashion retailer said it would close as many as 125 stores to adapt to a difficult, promotional sales environment.

Payless

The discount shoe retailer will file for bankruptcy for the second time in two years later this month and close all of its approximately 2,300 stores in the U.S., Reuters reported, citing sources with knowledge of the situation. The company previously filed for bankruptcy in April 2017.

RadioShack

The once-prominent electronics outlet shut down more than 1,000 store locations in 2017. The brand now operates just 70 stores nationwide, down from a peak of several thousand.

Sears/Kmart

Sears Holdings is one of the most prominent traditional retailers to suffer in a challenged sales environment. The brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 15, 2018, and said it would close more than 140 of its 700 remaining stores as part of its bid to restructure its debt. The company is set to hold an auction in January to determine whether it will be sold to its former CEO, Eddie Lampert, or liquidate its remaining stores.

Shopko

The Wisconsin-based retailer cited a sizable debt load and "competitive pressures" in its decision to file for bankruptcy. The chain will close 38 stores and sell off its pharmacy business as part of a restructuring plan.

Toys R Us

The venerable toy outlet filed for bankruptcy in September 2017 amid mounting debt and pressure from wary suppliers and was forced to liquidate its remaining stores and inventories in 2018. The company is currently out of business, though rumors of a comeback persist.

Wet Seal

The teen fashion brand shuttered its 171 stores in 2017 after previously filing for bankruptcy in 2015. Declining foot traffic at malls and pressure from competitors like Zara and H&M contributed to Wet Seal’s demise.

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