Category: CLOSINGS

More than 9,100 stores are closing in 2019 as the retail apocalypse drags on — here’s the full list

The staggering rate of store closures that rocked the retail industry over the past couple of years is expected to continue in 2019, with more closures expected this year.

Retailers closed a record 102 million square feet of store space in 2017, then smashed that record in 2018 by closing another 155 million square feet, according to estimates by the commercial real-estate firm CoStar Group.

“This year we are predicting more of the same in the retail space,” CoStar senior consultant Drew Myers said.

Retailers have announced more than 9,100 store closures so far this year, according to an analysis by Business Insider.

Here’s a list of all the stores closing this year:


Iconic-152 Year Old Baltimore Business Shuts Down…

Stebbins Anderson, a hardware and department store founded two years after the end of the Civil War, will close at the end of December, after 152 years in business.

A Facebook post on the page of Stebbins For Her, a boutique within the store offering jewelry and accessories from brands such as Pandora, Vera Bradley and Kate Spade, cited a “retail environment has become increasingly more difficult for small businesses” but also said the owners were ready to move on.

“It has been a pleasure serving our community and loyal customers, which makes this decision all the more difficult,” the post said.

Stebbins Anderson has long served as an anchor tenant at The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, offering housewares, gifts and patio furniture. But its origins are much different, according to an archived company biography.

It started as a coal, lumber and hardware business in 1867 under the name Cochrane Lumber Company, and was situated at 305 York Road. In 1911, the namesake proprietors bought the company, and it was renamed Stebbins Anderson Coal and Lumber Co., Inc.

After another ownership change in 1926, J.W. Edelen began operating the business and oversaw the expansion of Stebbins Anderson until his death in 1953. From 1926 to 1977, the company added housewares, sports equipment, unfinished furniture and other goods to its merchandise, the company biography said.

In 1978, the store moved to The Shops at Kenilworth, and a year later was sold to a new owner, Richard Powers. Powers ran the store until his death in 2013.

Ken and Bonnie Knight bought it in 2015. The store was remodeled and consolidated to one floor in 2016 as part of a renovation project at The Shops at Kenilworth that also brought a Trader Joe’s grocery store to the development.


Sears Is Closing Half of Its Stores…

Hedge fund manager and longtime Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert spent more than a decade trying to merge and then turn around the storied Sears and Kmart brands. Along the way, he raised billions of dollars of capital through asset sales and spinoffs — most notably, the creation of retail REIT Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE:SRG). However, those efforts ended in failure, as Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection a little over a year ago.

Despite this poor track record, Lampert’s ESL Investments fund bought Sears and Kmart out of bankruptcy earlier this year, with plans to keep both chains alive in a slimmed-down format. Yet once again, Lampert overestimated the prospects of these dying retail brands. As a result, Sears and Kmart are poised to close the majority of their remaining stores between the last few months of 2019 and the first few months of 2020.

As part of the latest round of store closures, Sears and Kmart will close more than half of their Seritage-owned stores in February. However, Seritage has done so much work to redevelop its properties already that the pending store closures will have a negligible impact on the REIT.

Another massive round of store closures

At the time it bought Sears and Kmart out of bankruptcy, ESL expected to continue operating about 425 stores combined between the two chains. For comparison, Sears Holdings had about 1,000 stores at the beginning of 2018, many of which were closed before the bankruptcy filing.

It didn’t take long for Sears and Kmart to start missing ESL’s projections. As a result, the company closed a handful of stores during the spring and summer. In August, it announced that it would close another 26 stores between late October and mid-November. Soon thereafter, the company quietly made plans to close about 100 stores — mainly Kmarts — near the end of the year.

Last Thursday, the ESL affiliate that controls Sears and Kmart announced plans to shutter 96 additional stores next February, split roughly evenly between the two banners. Liquidation sales will begin on Dec. 2. This will leave a grand total of just 182 Sears and Kmart stores, less than half the number Lampert and his team thought could be salvaged.

Seritage gets hit hard — but not that hard

At the time it became independent in mid-2015, Seritage Growth Properties held interests in 266 properties, with all but a dozen occupied primarily by either Sears or Kmart. Over time, it has trimmed its holdings to 217 properties. Furthermore, before its bankruptcy filing, Sears Holdings had exercised termination rights for 87 properties, and Seritage fully recaptured dozens of others. Additional Sears and Kmart stores in Seritage’s portfolio closed during the bankruptcy process.


Abercrombie & Fitch to close 3 more flagship stores

According to this FOX Business report Abercrombie & Fitch is closing three more flagship stores after reporting terrible first quarter earnings.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shares fell Wednesday after the retailer released first-quarter earnings that showed slow sales and more flagship store closings. This is the latest sign of retailers struggling Opens a New Window. to stay competitive.

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LifeWay Christian to shutter all 170 stores


The retail closings keep piling up. According to a recent blog post on their website, LifeWay Christian will be closing all 170 brick and mortar stores in 2019.

LifeWay Christian Resources is charting a new course in 2019 marking a strategic shift of resources to a dynamic digital strategy. As part of the transition, LifeWay will close its 170 brick-and-mortar stores in 2019.

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More than 680 stores close today as the retail apocalypse rips through Tesla, JCPenney, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret

retail apocalypse

Another historic day in the retail apocalypse. According to multiple Business Insider reports, more than 680 stores closed today. Leading the pack was Tesla closing 378 stores, Gap 230 stores, Victoria’s Secret 54 stores, and JCPenney 27 stores.

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Another Iconic retailer shuts down: Payless ShoeSource to close all 2,300 stores in biggest retail liquidation ever


This is becoming all to familiar, another iconic brand is disappearing. According to this Reuters report Payless ShoeSource will be closing all 2,300 stores.

U.S. discount retailer Payless ShoeSource Inc plans to close all of its approximately 2,300 stores when it files for bankruptcy later this month for the second time in as many years, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

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H&R Block closing 400 locations

H&R Block

How much longer until H&R Block bites the dust? The once dominant tax preparation company has fallen on hard times thanks to the popularity of do-it-yourself tax software like TurboTax. According to this KCRA report, the company will be closing 400 smaller locations.

H&R Block is everywhere — and that’s a problem.

The company said it plans to close 400 smaller offices after it lowered its sales and profit margin outlook for the rest of the year. H&R Block’s stock plunged nearly 20% Wednesday.

During a conference call with analysts after the closing bell Tuesday, H&R Block CEO Jeff Jones said the decision to shutter the offices was part of its annual review and that the stores were mostly smaller ones.

The company does not plan to cut any jobs as a result of the closures, a spokeswoman for H&R Block told CNNMoney. She said that the stores being closed are all within five miles of other H&R Block locations.

H&R Block may be suffering from a Starbucks-like phenomenon — having too many locations that are within close proximity to other ones.

The increased popularity of do-it-yourself tax software like TurboTax is also hurting the company.

Jones noted that many people, including millennials, still want assistance when doing taxes.