Nearly 2,000 store closures in the U.S. and Canada have been announced just three months into the new year.
So far in the first quarter of 2023, 1,508 fashion retail doors are already set to go dark. Adding in other retailers such as the 50 from Bath & Body Works, plus 300 CVS closures this year and up to 30 doors at Best Buy, the total quickly climbs to 1,871. Then there’s the smaller, unreported boutique locations that are shuttered, grocery chains such as the 11 locations Sprouts Farmers Market that will close, and a store closure here and there by both Staples and Office Depot, and the store tally easily approaches 2,000 doors.
Inflation and layoffs are some of the big storylines that could lead to even more closures. Accenture is cutting 19,000, Indeed.com will cut 2,200, and Salesforce layoffs could reach 8,000, all of which could be a huge blow to consumer spending. For the year to date 522 tech companies have laid off 153,208 workers, according to tech and startup job tracking platform Layoffs.fyi.
Given the dismal macroeconomic climate, will 2023 be the year when retailers go hard on store closures? It’s too early to tell, and a few variables are still up in the air at the moment.
In 2020, Covid sparked over 11,000 fashion-related store closings, most of which came from bankruptcies. Retailers could find themselves thinning the store herd if conditions continue to decline this year.
Amazon: Eight Go cashierless convenience stores and several Amazon Fresh supermarkets.
Backstory: The closures follow the shuttering of 68 bookstores and pop-up shops in 2022. Amazon is also cutting 9,000 more corporate and tech workers on top of the 18,000 previously announced.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc.: 25 stores
Backstory: Executive vice president and chief financial officer Mike Mathias said during the March 8 fourth-quarter earnings call that the retailer will open “approximately 25 new Aerie stores” while American Eagle brand net closures will total “approximately 25 stores.”
Bed Bath & Beyond: 416 stores in the U.S., including some Buybuy Baby doors and shutting down its 45-store Harmons Beauty business. It’s also closing all 65 Canadian doors, wiping out 1,400 retail jobs.
Backstory: The home retailer is paring back to survive a financial crisis. It plans to have just 360 Bed Bath & Beyond doors and 120 Buybuy Baby stores. That 480-store network is a sharp drop from the 953 locations it operated a year ago.
Big Lots: 7 locations, including three in California and four in Colorado.
Backstory: The retailer said it plans to expand in small-town markets.
Dick’s Sporting Goods: 17 Field & Stream stores
Backstory: Dick’s is closing all 17 Field & Stream stores. Chief financial officer Navdeep Gupta said 12 doors have already been closed and the remaining five stores would be converted to either its House of Sport concept or a Dick’s large format locations by 2024.
Foot Locker Inc.: 545 locations by 2026, including 420 Foot Locker stores and 125 Champs Sports doors.
Backstory: The footwear retailer is looking to get rid of underperforming doors and plans to open more than 300 mostly off-mall “new concept” doors.
Gap Inc.: 46 Gap and Banana Republic locations, including four Banana Republic stores that have already closed.
Backstory: They’re part of the company’s plan to close 350 Gap and Banana Republic locations. So far, it has closed 276.
JCPenney: 2 stores
Backstory: One store in Elkhart, Ind. has started liquidating, and another in Oswego, N.Y. is set to close this year. Additional closures could be in the works.
The retailer shuttered 154 doors in 2020 during bankruptcy.
Macy’s Inc.: 5 stores
Backstory: In February 2020, the department store retailer said it would close 125 stores over three years. CEO Jeff Gennette said the retailer has closed 80 so far, and will get to 85 by the end of the year.
The company is opening four Market by Macy’s locations and one Bloomie’s store, the new Bloomingdale’s concept.
Nordstrom Canada: 13 stores, including six main-line and seven Rack stores
Backstory: CEO Erik Nordstrom said Nordstrom Inc. is getting out of Canada because the company no longer sees a “realistic path for profitability.”
Its first foray into Canada was a store in Calgary in September 2014. Liquidation sales run by a joint venture between Hilco Merchant Retail Solutions ULC and Gordon Brothers Canada began last week.
Party City: 22 locations
Backstory: Covid dealt the party retailer a body blow when events were canceled en masse. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January to restructure.
Sears Hometown Stores Inc.: 115 franchise-operated locations in 36 states and Puerto Rico.
Backstory: Sears Hometown will close its remaining doors following its December bankruptcy. It already closed 100 prior to the Chapter 11 petition.
Sears Hometown and Outlet was spun off in 2012 by parent company Sears Holding Corp., which went bankrupt in 2018. Sears Holdings was acquired out of bankruptcy for $5.2 billion earlier by Transform Holdco, which is controlled by former Sears Holdings chairman Edward S. Lampert, in February 2019. In June 2019, Transform Holdco acquired Sears Hometown, which had 491 stores at the time.
Transform Holdco could close some of 17 full-line Sears stores that the sole remnants of the once-mighty retailer.
The RealReal: Six locations, including four stores and two consignment offices.
Backstory: The luxury fashion consignment firm announced job cuts affecting 7 percent, or 230, of its staff. Two flagships in San Francisco and Chicago will close, as well as one store apiece in Atlanta and Austin. In addition, the company is also clossing two consignment offices in Miami and Washington, D.C., and plans to cut the square footage in its New York and San Francisco offices.
Target Corp.: Four stores
Backstory: It plans to close four unprofitable locations, two in the D.C. metro area, one in Philadelphia and another in Minneapolis by May 13.
Tuesday Morning: 265 stores
Backstory: The off-price home decor chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. It previously filed for bankruptcy in May 2020 and closed 200 stores. Now it hopes to reorganize and move forward with roughly 200 stores left.
Walmart Inc.: Twelve including eight full-service stores and two pickup-only locations.
Backstory: Walmart regularly tweaks its store fleet to trim the fat and focus on profitable doors.