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Revolving Doors: Openings Trump Closures in 2022

Retailers are openings stores again, but this time many are focused on the smaller-door format that comes with an off-the-mall address.

It also comes as no surprise that the dollar stores, followed by the off-pricers, are leading the store opening charge, as consumers pull back and looks for value.

Thus far, Coresight has pegged total retail store openings at 5,088 doors, with disclosed store closures at 2,454. On the fashion front, store openings are estimated at 3,544 based on company disclosures, with store closings at 1,567.

But more store closings could be on the way. Sears Hometown just filed a Chapter 11 petition. No word yet on store plans, but it could possibly close the 100 locations that remain in operation.

Moreover, the rising shoplifting wave could pose a bigger problem for retailers. Once called shrinkage, retail trade group National Retail Federation said last year’s haul—it refers to the thefts as organized crime—translated to losses of almost $95 billion. Target CEO Brian Cornell said this year’s massive “organized retail crime” wave shrunk Target’s gross margin by more than $400 million versus last year, and he said that tally could rise to $600 million for the full year.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, in an interview Dec. 6 with CNBC’s Squawk Box, said some of its stores could close if the thefts continue.

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Below is a list of some of the fasion retailers that have adjusted their store counts in 2022.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

The company is opening 60 new stores for the year: 18 Abercrombie adults, 24 Hollister’s, 15 Gilly Hicks and 3 kids stores. The new doors includes overseas locations, although the majority of store openings are in the U.S.

The company also has 220 leases up for renewal by the end of the current fiscal year. Retailers end their fiscal year in January. It could close as many as 30 doors, pending negotiations with landlords.

Amazon.com

Amazon said in March that it would close all 68 of its brick-and-mortar doors in the U.S. and U.K.. Those doors include all bookstores, pop-ups and “4-star” stores. Many stores carry toys and home goods. The decision was made after the e-commerce giant decided to focus on its grocery business.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

The teen retailer opened 85 new Aerie and Aerie Offline stores in this year, on top of the over 130 Aerie stores added since 2021. Aerie Offline is the brand’s activewear line.

During a third-quarter conference call last month, CFO Mike Mathias said the pace of Aerie store openings will slow in Fiscal Year 2023 from 100 to about 30 doors. It also opened one new Todd Snyder store in the quarter.

The company closed 83 stores thus far, including three Aerie Offline locations.

The retailer is presently testing pop-ups of its premium denim brand AE77 at select American Eagle locations. There are currently two AE77 freestanding locations, one in SoHo in New York City and the other at the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Penn.

Bed Bath & Beyond

The struggling Bed Bath & Beyond chain may not be done with store closures.

After booting out its CEO in June following a disastrous first-quarter earnings report, the home retailer began cutting jobs and revamping its merchandise assortment including slashing its private label lines in an effort to stabilize the business. It also said in August that it would shutter 150 doors across the U.S. That’s on top of the 200 doors closed before the start of 2022.

More troubles dogged the retailer when lost its CFO Gustavo Arnal after he fell to his death from a 57-story TriBeCa building on Sept. 2. Two weeks before his untimely death, he had been named as a defendant in a class-action securities fraud lawsuit.

And just last month, following a meeting with 500 vendors for a summit outlining its new strategy, Bed Bath & Beyond has seen several suppliers stop or restrict shipments.

Big Lots

This closeout retailer said in January that it would open 50 new locations this year. And another 80 new doors are planned for 2023.

It is also experimenting with a new format that features just furniture and home furnishings, unlike its traditional stores that also sell fashion, consumables and healthy and beauty goods.

Big Lots operates about 1,465 locations and it plans to add another 500 new doors by 2030.

Burlington Stores

CEO Michael O’Sullivan told investors in the retailer’s third-quarter earnings conference call last month that the company decided to “accelerate” its new store opening program. The plan was to open 120 stores that, after closures and relocations, would result in 90 net new doors.

“Beyond 2022, we now expect to open 130 to 150 new stores each year. About 30 of these will be relocations of older stores to newer, smaller prototype locations. So overall, from 2023 onward, we expect to open 100 to 120 net new stores each year,” he said.

Total store count to date is just over 800 locations.

Carter’s Inc.

“We’re on track to open about 30 stores this year in the United States, including 20 in the fourth quarter,” Michael Casey, chairman and CEO, said on Oct. 28 in an earnings conference call to investors.

He said that with improvement in its pricing strategies, along with more attractive store opening opportunities, fewer stores may need to be closed. Casey said the company has closed over 100 low-margin stores since 2019, with outlet locations representing a smaller percentage of its overall store portfolio in the years ahead. “With the surge in gas prices this past year, our outlet store sales have been trending lower than our strip center and mall stores located closer to densely populated areas,” he added.

Chico’s FAS Inc.

The retailer operates three nameplates: Chico’s, White House | Black Market and its intimates concept Soma.

By the end of January, the company will have opened 27 new Soma doors in the current fiscal year. It also will have renovated 37 of its “most productive Chico’s boutiques by year end,” according to president and CEO Molly Langenstein in a third quarter conference call last month.

“And due to the continued improving productivity and profitability of our store base, we now expect to close 26 stores this year, down from our original target of up to 40,” she said.

Citi Trends

The value chain said it will open 40 new stores in 2022, Another 100 new doors are set to open by the end of Fiscal 2023.

Dollar General

The dollar store channel has been leading the charge for openings. Dollar General did its part with plans to open 1,102 locations this year. That tally includes more than 200 new doors for its $5 and below Popshelf format concept.

CEO Todd Vasos in a first-quarter conference call told investors that consumers start to “trade down” when hard times hit, which was one reason why it was leaning into the $1 value proposition. Vasos, who retired on Nov. 1, said in March that he expects more trade down to occur down the road as a reaction to inflationary pressures.

The retailer closed 58 locations thus far this year.

Dollar Tree/Family Dollar

Dollar General’s big competitor in the dollar space is Dollar Tree, which is adding 590 new stores for both its Dollar Tree and Family Dollar nameplates.

Of the new stores, 350 would be a Family Dollar-Dollar Treet combo format. This format was created for markets where populations average between 3,000 and 4,000. It also plans 800 store renovations for its Family Dollar banner.

The Dollar Tree stores traditionally offer a wider variety of products for $1. At the start of the year, it moved to a $1.25 as its starting price point, with some items at $1.50. Both price increases were due to higher operating costs. Its Family Dollar sibling curates a more limited selection, although it tends to offer more sales.

Escada America

The U.S.-arm of German luxury women’s fashion brand Escada filed a Chapter 11 petition in mid-January. The filing resulted in the closure of five of its 10 U.S. locations.

Express Inc.

Following a revamping of its assortment mix last year that was part of its Expressway Forward strategy, the company has been moving away from being just store at the mall. Style codes were implemented for both its women’s and men’s lines.

Once the fashion was right, Express executives began looking at its store base. It found that its new smaller-format curated stores called Express Edit in high-traffic locations outperformed the mall apparel average by more than 20 percent on footfall. The off-mall doors, averaging under 4,000 square feet, also boosted digital sales in the surrounding zip codes. Express opened six new Express Edit locations this year, bringing the concept’s total count to 11.

In addition, the company opened eight UpWest stores this year, bringing the banner’s total door count to 15. The banner is focused on everyday casualwear, from loungewear to sleepwear, home goods and activewear for men and women.

Express earlier this month inked a joint venture with brand management firm WHP Global, a move that helps the retailer expand its licensing and wholesale opportunities, as well as possibly enter international markets.

Five Below

Five Below has big growth plans as part of its “Triple-Double” strategy.

The deep discounter made is known for selling goods between $1 to $5. It added higher-priced items and introduced the Ten Below concept for goods between $5 and $10. That idea has since evolved to the new moniker Five Beyond that’s a store-within-a-store for higher-priced goods. Now Five Beyond will become the nameplate for future growth plans as it targets 1,000 new stores by 2025.

About 160 new doors are planned by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends in January. A record 200-plus locations will open in 2023, Five Below CEO Joel Anderson said in September during a company conference call on second-quarter earnings.

Hennes & Mauritz

H&M Group said in March that in plans to close 240 locations. The fast-fashion chain also plans to open 95 new doors this year, offseting the closings to 145 locations.

Gap Inc.

Gap is slated to shutter 60 Gap and Banana Republic doors this year. The closures are part of a previously disclosed store closure plan that totals 350 locations.

In addition, the company expects to open 30 new Athleta doors and 10 Old Navy banners. The Old Navy locations do not include the 24 Old Navy Mexico stores, which were transferred to a franchisee in the third quarter. As part of the 30 new Athleta doors, the name plate opened its first two outlet stores this past summer in Chicago. A third outlet site opened this fall in Leesburg, Vir.

Genesco

The footwear retailer said in March that it expects 41 store openings and 46 closures across its brands, resulting in five net closures in 2022.

Mimi E. Vaughn, board chair, president and CEO, said its Journeys brand will open 30 off-mall doors this year.

Brands under the Genesco umbrella include Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Little Burgundy, Schuh and Johnson & Murphy.

Inditex

Since its last fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2021, Zara parent Inditex added 152 doors beginning Nov. 1, 2021. The company opened doors across 30 markets, and ended its most recent third quarter with 6,307 locations. The decline in store count reflects, in part, the closure of 502 stores connected to the company’s Russian operations, which was later sold to Emirati conglomerate Daher Group.

Kmart

The company had about 27 stores at the end of 2021, but is currently down to just three locations. There is one store each in Westwood, N.J., Bridgehamption, N.Y. and in Miami, Fla. A door in Avenel, N.J. shuttered in April.

Kohl’s Corp.

Kohl’s said it plans to open 100 smaller-format stores over the next four years in untapped markets. These stores will be located in small-sized markets that can’t support a regular full-size Kohl’s department store, which average 80,000 square feet. In comparison, the smaller stores average 35,000 square feet. The merchandise assortment also will be tailored to the buying habits of local consumers. One test site is in operation in Seattle, and that assortment leans into outdoor apparel.

Separately, Kohl’s is also opening 250 additional Sephora at Kohl’s shops, bringing that total to 850.

Lands’ End

The apparel retailer closed one store in 2022, leaving its total store count to 29 in operation.

Macy’s Inc.

The retailer plans to shutter 60 locations. The group represents that balance of stores that were part of the initial 125 doors that Macy’s said it would close in February 2020 over a three-year period.

And as part of its Polaris strategy to position itself for the future, Macy’s is moving its stores off the mall.

Three new off-mall, small-format stores opened this fall. The retailer is also expanding on its even smaller 20,000 square feet outpost called Market by Macy’s. Two new Market stores opened this year, as well as its first dual Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage location in Chicago this past fall. Backstage is Macy’s off-price banner. The retailer is also rolling out 37 additional Backstage store-within-store concepts at select Macy’s stores.

Marks & Spencer

The British department store retailer said in May that it would close 32 legacy stores, after already shuttering 68 full-line, and opening or relocating 13.

Mango

Mango will end 2022 with 270 new stores, bringing its total global network to 2,600 doors across 115 markets.

New stores include opening a Fifth Ave. flagship in New York City in the former Ralph Lauren Polo store. The Spanish fast-fashion chain also inked an agreement with a subsidiary of Italy’s Grandi Stazioni Retail, which operates 30-plus storefronts in major train stations

The chain is also adding its revamped Mediterranean-inspired “New Med” concept into new store openings.

Michael Kors

A part of the Capri Holdings Ltd. group, the Kors brand closed 64 locations.

Nordstrom Inc.

The upscale department store opened an Asos|Nordstrom store at The Grove in Los Angeles, and two Nordstrom Rack doors this fall. It also closed one Rack store this year. Rack is the retailer’s off-price concept. It closed 11 locations this year.

Olympia Sports

The sports retailer closed the last of its 35 locations at the end of September. Liquidation of stores began in mid-July.

The retail filed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition after most of its stores had already closed, but need to do the filing to pay employees and reimburse creditors that include Nike, Crocs, Skechers and New Balance.

Primark

Primark is stepping up its U.S. expansion. Three New York stores opened this year: City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, Roosevelt Field in Garden City, Long Island and at the Crossgates Mall in Albany.

The value retailer signed a store lease in Tysons Corner in Washington earlier this year and has two New York stores—one in Queens and the other in Nassau County, Long Island—set to open next year.

When the company reported on fiscal year results last month, it said it will open a “net 1 million square feet” in Primark retail selling space in the new fiscal year that began on Sept. 18.

Primark’s parent is Associated British Foods (ABF). “We have demonstrated that our U.S. store model is profitable and believe that the opportunity ahead is substantial; we expect nearly to double our retail selling space in this new financial year,” ABF CEO George Weston said last month.

A year ago, the retailer said plans to open about 60 new doors over the next five years in the U.S.

Primark said store expansion plans are also on the agenda for the European markets of France, Italy and Iberia, as well as Central and Eastern Europe, including a new store that opened this year in Bucharest, Romania.

Over the next five years, Primark plans to grow its store network to 530 stores. It currently operates over 400 locations across 15 markets.

Ralph Lauren Corp.

The company opened 90 stores for the fiscal year ended this past March. Looking ahead, more doors are on the horizon. It’s a move that cements the company as a retailer and away from what used to be primarily a wholesaler designation.

Regional CEO of North America Bob Ranftl told the attendees at the Ralph Lauren Corp. Investor Day meeting in September that the company plans to open 250 new stores over the next three years. Key markets include those in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

The company, under the direction of CEO Patrice Louvet, has been rethinking its store network and wholesale businesses. Thus far, it has exited about two-thirds of its department store doors in the U.S., and halved its off-price exposure. Its part of a digital first mindset that sees the company focusing on more direct-to consumer. Digital currently accounts for about one-quarter of commerce, and the company added new digital flagships in Taiwan, Canada, Singapore and Malaysia.

Ross Stores

The dollar store sector isn’t the only retail channel that’s bent on growing its store base by leaps and bounds.

Off-pricer Ross Stores said it will open 100 new locations in 2022, with 75 planned for its Ross Dress for Less banner and 25 at its DD’s Discounts nameplate. That’s more than the 65 locations it opened last year.

“Our return to stronger unit growth in 2022 reflects our belief that Ross can ultimately grow to 2,900 locations and DD’s Discounts can become a chain of 700 stores given consumers’ ongoing focus on value and convenience,” Gregg McGillis, group executive vice president, property development, said earlier this year.

The company operates over 2,000 Ross and DD’s banners across 40 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.

Sabyasachi New York

Indian couturier Sabyasachi Mukherjee has been selling his collection at luxury retail destinations that include Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges and Browns. On Oct. 16, he opened his New York flagship—and first international store—in the West Village at 160 Christopher Street.

The story showcases his signature prints, collections and jewelry line. While his focus has been mostly centered on bridal couture, the new store showcases his launch into non-bridal apparel.

Savage X Fenty

Rihanna opened 11 new brick-and-mortar Savage X Fenty stores this year.

Sears Hometown

The retailer said in May that it plans to shutter 100 stores across 30 states.

Sears Hometown was spun off by Sears Holdings Corp. in 2012. The move was part of a series of financial maneuvers by Sears Holdings’ then CEO Edward S. Lampert to shore up the struggling parent’s operation. Sears Holdings filed its Chapter 11 petition six years later.

Lampert, through a new vehicle called Transformco, bought Sears out of bankruptcy proceedings in February 2019. A few months later, Transformco went on to acquire Sears Hometown. Sears Hometown sells mattresses, appliances, home goods, tools hardware and lawn and garden equipment.

On Dec. 7, Sears Hometown filed a Chapter 11 petition. About 100 Sears Hometown locations are still in operation. There are still 15 Sears full-line stores that remain today.

Target Corp.

The company website lists 41 upcoming stores across the U.S. Store locations include seven in California, six in Florida, and 10 in New York.

It wasn’t immediately clear which ones have already been opened. However, the discounter said in February that it plans to open 30 doors this year from mid-sized locations to its small format city locations.

In addition to the new stores, Target added more than 250 Ulta Beauty shop-in-shops at its Target stores this year, on top of the 100 opened last year. The goal is to eventually open a total of 800 Ulta shops at Target.

The TJX Cos Inc.

TJX said in February it would open 170 new stores this year. That’s part of an overall store plan that’s expected to add 1,600 new doors over the long term.

Walmart Inc.

Walmart in July opened its first general store in Wimberly, Tex., in partnership with Getaway, a hospitality group. These tiny “General Stores” are essentially cabins on wheels located at campsites across the U.S. There are plans for more tiny stores in Moodus, Conn., Osceola, Mo., Roscoe, N.Y. and Running Springs, Calif.