It’s always good to get this site to make sure a stores isn’t schedule to close, if you’re planning a return or have a gift card. So Buyer Be Aware!
The plagued economy has spawned a massive fallout within the retail sector, and hundreds of stores like Office Depot, Sergio Rossi, Dillards and Ann Taylor have been forced into scale-backs and in worst cases, bankruptcy and store closures. These closures, also listed on rumor-buster site Snopes.com, could change the landscape of America – malls will likely stand vacant, and city streets could soon resemble a ghost town with empty storefronts.
An email has been circulating around the web that warns against buying gift cards from the the list of closing retailers named in the email; retailers have responded saying it is a ‘hoax’ intended to deter shoppers from visiting their stores. I don’t believe anyone would deliberately construct an elaborate hoax like this in order to ‘stick it to the man,’ but rather I think lists like these are created so that consumers can protect themselves. As more information is released, I will update this story to reflect changes and clarifications as they occur. Your comments are also appreciated.
Here’s a list of some of the major US retailers who have closed some or all of their stores this year – note that this list will be updated as more store closures or details are announced:
- Ann Taylor (117)
- Movie Gallery (378)
- Sprint/Nextel (125)
- Ethan Allen (12)
- Dell (140)
- Friedmans (120)
- Pier 1 (25)
- Sigrid Olsen (54)
- Talbots Kids/Mens (78)
- Home Depot (15)
- Eddie Bauer (29)
- GAP (85)
- Footlocker (140)
- Bombay (all 384 stores)
- Disney (98)
- Macy’s (11)
- JC Penney (scaling back)
- Loews (scaling back)
- Sharper Image (184)
- Wilson Leather (160)
- Pep Boys (31)
- Pacific Sunwear / PacSun (154 Demo stores)
- Zales (105)
- Cache (20)
- Lane Bryant (40)
- KB Toys (356)
- Dillards (26)
- Fashion Bug (100)
- CompUSA (all stores)
- Linens ‘N Things (all 371 stores)
- Mervyn’s (all 149 stores)
- Club Libby Lu (Saks owned) (all 78 stores)
- Steve & Barry’s (all 173 stores)
- Sergio Rossi (all standalone US stores)
- Office Depot (126 stores)
- Rite Aid (181 stores)
Office Depot announced on December 10, 2008 that it will close 112 underperforming stores in North America over the next 3 months, with an additional 14 stores to close when their leases expire throughout the rest of 2009. The company says it may restructure business once it determines what the office supply demand will be from other failing small businesses. 33 distribution facilities will also shut down; 20 new stores will open in 2009.
Sergio Rossi announced on December 9, 2008 that they would be closing all of their stand-alone locations in the US, deciding to focus instead on their wholesale market. The shoes will still be available at department stores. The national closures of Sergio Rossi retail stores are expected to be complete by early 2009.
Talbots is looking to to shed its J. Jill chain, and has shut down Talbots Kids, Talbots Mens, plus an additional 28 regular Talbots stores.
Ann Taylor is expected to roll out closures of 117 underperforming stores by 2010, but plan to reopen 40 new ones this year.
Home Depot had plans for 36-50 new stores in 2009, but those plans may have been abandoned – real estate was apparently a key roadblock.
Saks is hurting all across the board, but has seen considerable decreases in women’s shoe and handbag sales – if sales continue to decline, Saks store closures are predicted as well.
Charming Shoppes Inc (which owns Fashion Bug, Catherines, and Lane Bryant retail chains) announced that they will close as many as 100 additional stores by 2010.
Footlocker announced in Spring 2008 they would be closing all stores; the company currently owns nearly 4,000 stores worldwide which operate under the names Footlocker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Champs Sports.
Some responses from retailers: