2018 The Most Brutal Year Ever for Retail Chains Listing 30 Major Retailers Store Closing In 2018

This is likely to go down as the most brutal year ever for store chains. By our count, bankrupt Sears, Toys R Us, and others have closed well over 5,000 stores, and that’s looking only at the bigger chains. Smaller, regional retailers have been shuttering stores, too.
The huge shopping shift away from the mall and onto the smartphone and tablet has meant more going-out-of-business sales, store layoffs, and empty big boxes.
Here are 30 major retailers closing the most stores in 2018. We count up to the chain shutting down the largest number of locations.

  1. J.C. Penney 8 Stores. After shutting down nearly 140 stores last year, J.C. Penney has been at it again in 2018. The department store chain said eight locations, from California to New Jersey, would be out of business before summer.
  2. Lord & Taylor 10 Stores. Your grandmother may have shopped at Lord & Taylor and your grandmother’s grandmother and her grandmother, too. The department store chain has been around for more than 190 years.
  3. Macy’s 11 Stores. Macy’s closed around 70 of its department stores in 2017 and started off 2018 by announcing it would shut down nearly a dozen more.
  4. Victoria’s Secret 20 Stores. In fashion, you’re either in or you’re out. Twenty of Victoria’s Secret stores are out they’re being closed because of slow sales.
  5. Henri Bendel 23 Stores. The company that owns Victoria’s Secret has decided 2018 will be the year the curtain comes down on its Henri Bendel stores. That chain, which sells luxury fashion accessories, got its start all the way back in 1895.
  6. Crocs 47 Stores. Crocs  the company that makes those colorful, rubbery clogs with the holes  has been shrinking its “footprint.” In other words, scaling back the number of brick-and-mortar stores it operates.
  7. J. Crew 50 Stores. Many malls are kinda dead these days, at least compared to how busy they used to be. And that’s really bad news for preppy clothing chain J. Crew because most of its stores are at the mall.
  8. Abercrombie & Fitch 60 Stores. The teen retailer known for its buff models and torn jeans will be turning out the lights at 60 of its Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores this year.
  9. Sam’s Club 63 Stores. Walmart says it’s closing 63 of its Sam’s Club warehouse club stores, though 12 of them will be converted to warehouses to store online merchandise.
  10. Claire’s 92 Stores. Claire’s, the retailer that keeps teenage girls well-accessorized in bangles and bling, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March and said it would close 92 of its stores this spring.
  11. Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo 94 Stores. Supermarkets are not immune from the forces shaking up retailing. Smaller grocery chains are being squeezed out as Americans do more of their food shopping at dollar stores, Walmart and Amazon’s Whole Foods.
  12. Brookstone 102 Stores. Brookstone that store tired shoppers have counted on for soothing demonstrations in its massage chairs has filed for bankruptcy and is closing all 102 of its mall stores.
  13. Foot Locker 110 Stores. More than 100 Foot Locker stores are in their final inning and are expected to close in 2018. CEO Richard Johnson told analysts in early March that the company is leaving malls that are “starting to deteriorate.”
  14. Guess? Up to 120 Stores. Guess? is doing better overseas than in the U.S., so the fashion retailer is guessing that cutting way back on its American stores will be good for business.
  15. Vitamin World 124 Stores. The Vitamin World chain is looking like a 98-pound weakling these days. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2017 and put 124 stores in going-out-of-business mode. They were expected to close by February 2018.
  16. Michael Kors Up to 125 Stores. High-end fashion accessories giant Michael Kors will shut down 100 to 125 stores in the next two years after major drops in sales in 2017. Kors sales in both its branded stores and department stores fell by double digits.
  17. The Children’s Place Up to 144 Stores. Kids may grow, but longtime kids’ clothing retailer The Children’s Place has been getting smaller and smaller. And, it plans to shut down another 144 stores by 2020.
  18. Kmart 160 Stores. The company behind the struggling Sears department store chain also owns the gasping Kmart discount stores and has been closing them steadily throughout 2018 because they’re money losers.
  19. (tie) Gap/Banana Republic 200 Stores. Two of your local mall’s staples — Gap and Banana Republic — may soon disappear. Parent company Gap Inc. says 200 of those stores will go dark in the next three years because they’re “underperforming.”
  20. (tie) GNC 200 Stores. GNC is another vitamin retailer that has been looking sickly. Executives hope closing 200 stores in the U.S. and Canada will be just the spoonful of tonic the company needs to improve its financial health.
  21. (tie) Signet Jewelers 200 Stores. Never heard of Signet? It’s the company behind many of the big jewelry chains found in malls, including Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, and Piercing Pagoda.
  22. Sears 222 Stores. Sears’ business has been in a steady decline for more than a decade, and the company’s stock price has dropped from about $40 a share in June 2015 to less than $1 in 2018. (Yikes!) Now, the Sears company has filed for bankruptcy.
  23. Best Buy Mobile 250 Stores. Electronics big-box chain Best Buy has decided to shut down all 250 of its not-so-big Best Buy Mobile stores found in malls.
  24. Bon-Ton 260 Stores. This year brought an end to the Bon-Ton family of department stores, which included the Bergner’s, Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younker’s chains.
  25. Teavana 379 Stores. The end is brewing for Starbucks’ tea brand: The company plans to shutter all 379 of its mall-based Teavana locations. Most were to be out of business by the spring.
  26. Subway 500 Stores. The Subway chain of sandwich shops is slimming down. After closing more than 900 stores last year, the company says it wants to shut down around 500 more of its U.S. locations in 2018.
  27. Ann Taylor and her sisters Up to 547 Stores. The company behind Ann Taylor, Loft, Dressbarn and other clothing chains for women plans to close as many as 547 more stores by 2019. That’s on top of at least 120 that Ascena Retail Group shut down in 2017.
  28. Rite Aid 600 Stores. Headaches are on the way for many Rite Aid drugstore customers: They’ll have to transfer their prescriptions because 600 Rite Aids will close, starting this spring.
  29. Mattress Firm Up to 700 Stores. After probably more than a few restless nights for its executives, Mattress Firm filed for bankruptcy in October and said it would close 200 of its stores immediately. Another 500 could be shut down by the end of 2018.
  30. Toys R Us 735 Stores. It’s game over for Toys R Us in 2018. The chain that helped raise generations of kids says it’s closing all 735 of its remaining U.S. stores and will try to sell its roughly 80 stores in Canada.

The retailers below are ones that are defying the retail apocalypse by opening stores, remodeling stores, and/or being able to survive changing trends.

  1. Aldi is planning to open 180 new stores by the end of 2018 and grow to 2,500 stores by 2022.
  2. At Home opened its 150th store in 2018 and plans to open even more stores.
  3. Boscov’s, after emerging from bankruptcy in 2009 saw record sales of $1.2 billion in 2017 and continues to open new stores.
  4. Build-A-Bear Workshop remains as the mall-based toy retailer surviving the retail apocalypse in 2018, after Toys ‘R’ Us announced plans to close all 735 of its U.S. stores in March 2018.
  5. Costco Wholesale opened 8 new stores in the first half of the fiscal year 2018 and will open 18 to 20 new stores during the second half of 2018.
  6. Dick’s Sporting Goods will open 20 stores in 2018, though this is a slowdown compared to before. Ed Stack mentioned that they would open more locations once market rents drop.
  7. Dollar General will open 1,846 new stores in 2018, remodel 1,568 stores, and relocate 219 stores.
  8. Dollar Tree, also operating Family Dollar, opened 137 stores in the fiscal year 2017. The company opened 603 new stores overall in the year of 2017.
  9. Duluth Trading Company plans to expand to 100 locations by 2023, mainly opening 15 stores in 2018.
  10. Fabletics plans to open 50 to 100 stores in the next five years.
  11. Five Below will open 125 stores in 2018.
  12. Gap Inc., despite closing 200 locations by 2020, is opening 270 stores under the Old Navy and Athleta brands.
  13. Hobby Lobby will open 60 new locations in 2018.
  14. Home Depot routinely reports a profit, and new stores are being planned on opening.
  15. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will open 36 to 38 new stores in 2018.
  16. Ross Stores will open 75 Ross stores and 25 DD’s Discounts stores in 2018.
  17. Target is planning to open 35 small-format stores in 2018 and remodel more than 300 existing stores.
  18. Tillys is opening new stores across the US.
  19. TJX Companies, owner of T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, etc. opened 258 by the fiscal year 2018 for a total of 4,070 stores as of the fiscal year.
  20. Party City announced that they will be opening their first Toy City stores by September 2018, filling the void left by Toys “R” Us.
  21. Tractor Supply Company opened 101 new stores in 2017, with plans to open 80 stores during 2018.
  22. Uniqlo is opening new stores.
  23. UNTUCKit plans to open 25 new stores in 2018 and grow to 100 stores by 2022.
  24. Ulta Beauty will open around 100 new stores and remodel 17 existing stores in the fiscal year 2018.
  25. Walmart opened 89 stores in 2017 and will open more in 2018. No exact target has been disclosed as of April 2018.
  26. Warby Parker, an eyeglass retailer, will open 40 stores by the end of 2018.
  27. Z Gallerie is opening new stores across the US

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