Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
Some of the biggest names in traditional retail have closed more than 5,000 stores this year amid slumping sales and increased competition from online sellers like Amazon.
Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Sears and Kmart are among the retailers that announced sweeping closures this year — and the list goes on.
2017 retail closings: Why you don’t want to buy gift cards
Money expert Clark Howard is repeating his warning about gift cards, which become worthless if a store or restaurant suddenly goes out of business.
“If you have any gift cards in your home that are for major retailers, I want you to go and shop. I want you to use them up,” Clark said.
Think twice before you give somebody a gift card for Christmas as well. In 2017, several retailers announced store closings in early January after reporting weak holiday sales.
So, if you give a gift card in December and the store closes in January, the recipient may not have used it yet.
If you don’t know what to get somebody, give them a nice card and give them cash. It may not seem as personal, but you don’t have to worry about a store closing with cash.
Here’s our list of the major retailers that closed stores in 2017:
Charming Charlie – 97 stores
During the middle of the holiday season, Charming Charlie has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Houston-based specialty retailer focused on fashion jewelry, handbags, apparel, gifts and beauty products currently has about 375 stores — but that’s about to change.
Court documents indicate that 97 locations will be shut down by the end of the year. See the list in this court filing.
Sears & Kmart – 358 stores in 2017, 63 in January 2018
Employees at 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores just got word that this holiday season will be their last with the company because the stores are shutting down.
In a news release, Sears Holdings said liquidation sales will begin as early as November 9 and the locations will close in late January 2018.
The retailer has closed more than 350 stores this year. Here’s the new list of 63 stores closing in January:
- 7200 Us Highway 431, Albertville, AL
- 1214 E Florence Blvd, Casa Grande, AZ
- 26996 Us Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, FL
- 6050 Highway 90, Milton, FL
- 901 Us 27 North, Sebring, FL
- 156 Tom Hill Senior Blvd, Macon, GA
- 144 Virginia Ave, South Tifton, GA
- 1203 Cleveland Road, Dalton, GA
- 3101 East 17th Street, Ammon, ID
- 1006 N Keller Drive, Effingham, IL
- 2606 Zion Road, Henderson, KY
- 230 L Roger Wells Blvd, Glasgow, KY
- 501 Marsailles Road, Versailles, KY
- 1300 Us Hwy 127 S, Frankfort, KY
- 41601 Garfield Road, Clinton Twp, MI
- 200 Capital Ave Sw, Battle Creek, MI
- 2125 S Mission Street, Mt Pleasant, MI
- 1547 Highway 59 South, Thief River Falls, MN
- 2233 N Westwood Blvd, Poplar Bluff, MO
- 16200 East Us Hwy 24, Independence, MO
- 1400 S Limit Avenue, Sedalia, MO
- 3901 Lemay Ferry Road, St Louis, MO
- 1130 Henderson Drive, Jacksonville, NC
- 1292 Indiana Avenue, St. Marys, OH
- 14901 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland, OH
- 2830 Navarre Road, Oregon, OH
- 4475 Mahoning Ave, Austintown, OH
- 1249 North High Street, Hillsboro, OH
- 3382 Birney Plaza, Moosic, PA
- 2830 Gracy Center Way, Moon Township / Coraopolis, PA
- 3319 North Susquehanna Trail, Shamokin Dam, PA
- 22631 Route 68, Clarion, PA
- 1815 6 Ave Se, Aberdeen, SD
- 530 Donelson Pike, Nashville, TN
- 560 South Jefferson Avenue, Cookeville, TN
- 1806 N Jackson Street, Tullahoma, TN
- 4520 W 7 Street, Texarkana, TX
- 4715 Nine Mile Road, Richmond, VA
- 300 Towne Centre Drive, Abingdon, VA
- 3311 Riverside Drive, Danville, VA
- 2315 Wards Road, Lynchburg, VA
- 111 Division St North, Stevens Point, WI
- 800 Grand Central Avenue, Vienna, WV
- 1287 Winchester Avenue, Martinsburg, WV
- 301 Beckley Plaza, Beckley, WV
- 1701 Mcfarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa, AL
- 5111 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, AR
- 4201 N Shiloh Drive, Fayetteville, AR
- Fiesta Mall, Mesa, AZ
- Greeley Mall, Greeley, CO
- 8020 Mall Pkwy, Lithonia, GA
- 1709 Baytree Road, Valdosta, GA
- Berkshire Mall, Lanesboro (Pittsfield), MA
- 7885 Eastern Blvd, Baltimore, MD
- 1200 Us Rt 22, Phillipsburg, NJ
- 2999 E College Avenue, State College, PA
- 300 Lycoming Mall Circle, Pennsdale/Muncy, PA
- 2334 Oakland Ave, Indiana, PA
- 4000 Sunset Mall, San Angelo, TX
- 4600 S Medford Dr, Lufkin, TX
- 754 S State Street, Salt Lake City, UT
- 114 Southpark Circle, Colonial Hts, VA
- 1400 Del Range Blvd, Cheyenne, WY
Sears Holdings said eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and can apply for open positions at its remaining stores.
J.C. Penney – 138 stores
More than 100 J.C. Penney department store locations closed forever in late July.
The struggling retailer said it planned to close 138 stores back in March, but it postponed liquidation sales until May due to increased foot traffic after the closing announcement.
Nearly all of the stores shut down July 31, except for a few that stayed open until September.
Macy’s – 68 stores
Macy’s isn’t finished shrinking its retail footprint quite yet.
The department store chain confirmed in February that it will close about 34 stores “over the next few years” after shutting down nearly 70 locations this year.
The company has not yet revealed which locations may soon be on the chopping block.
J. Crew – 50 stores
After reporting a sales drop of 12% for its third quarter, J. Crew will close dozens of stores by the end of January, CNN Money reported.
In a news release, J.Crew said it expects to close 50 stores during fiscal 2017, 39 of them in the fourth quarter.
Payless ShoeSource – 800-900 stores
Payless ShoeSource announced in August that it has successfully emerged from its Chapter 11 restructuring.
Prior to the bankruptcy filing, its website said the discount shoe retailer had 4,400 stores worldwide. That number was revised to 3,500 in its latest news release.
Vitamin World – 51 stores
Newsday reports that the company will shut down at least 51 of its 334 stores — many of which are located in malls — nationwide.
Gap – 200 stores
Gap Inc. plans to close 200 Gap and Banana Republic locations over the next three years, the company announced September 6. No list of the stores was released, but they are all “underperforming.”
At the same time, Gap Inc. will open 270 locations for its growing brands, Old Navy and Athleta.
Perfumania – 64 stores
In a news release, the retailer said it will emerge as a privately held company after the restructuring.
No list of the affected locations was released, but Perfumania has been reducing its retail store portfolio by accelerating the closure of underperforming stores.
Looking ahead, Perfumania will invest in its e-commerce business to improve customers’ online shopping experience.
Teavana – 379 stores
Bad news for tea lovers! Starbucks is closing every single one of its Teavana retail stores after a strategic review of the business.
Many of the 379 Teavana stores, which are primarily mall-based, have been underperforming. Starbucks said it tried to improve sales through creative merchandising and new store designs, but it just wasn’t working.
The stores will close over the coming year, with the majority shutting down by next spring, according to a news release.
Gymboree – 350 stores
The Gymboree Corporation announced in late September that it has successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 as a new corporation under the name Gymboree Group Inc.
In June, the children’s clothing retailer said it would close approximately 350 stores, mostly across its Gymboree and Crazy 8 brands.
True Religion – 27 stores
Designer jeans and clothing retailer True Religion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017.
“After a careful review, we are taking an important step to reduce our debt, reinvigorate True Religion’s iconic brand and position the company for future growth and success,” said John Ermatinger, President and CEO of True Religion.
At least 27 stores were expected to close during the bankruptcy process, according to a list compiled by USA Today.
Ascena Retail Group – At least 268 stores
Ascena Retail Group, the women’s clothing retailer that operates the brands Ann Taylor, Loft, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Justice and several others, is planning to close hundreds of stores.
During a recent earnings call, company executives announced that 667 stores are part of its fleet optimization program.
At least 268 of those stores will definitely be closed by July 2019. The remaining 399 stores will be shut down if rent concessions aren’t obtained through negotiations with landlords.
The company didn’t specify which locations will be closed.
Michael Kors – 100 to 125 stores
Michael Kors is closing between 100 and 125 of its retail stores over the next two years.
According to a May 31 news release, the company is making the move to improve the profitability of its store fleet. Revenue was down in the most recent quarter.
The clothing and handbag retailer didn’t reveal a list of the stores on the chopping block.
Bebe Stores – 180 stores
Women’s clothing retailer Bebe Stores shut down all of its roughly 180 locations nationwide.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated April 21, the company said it expected to close all stores by the end of May after liquidation sales.
The retailer’s future remains unclear, though some speculate it will continue as an online-only merchant.
Rue21 – 400 stores
Teen clothing retailer rue21 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In a May 15 news release, rue21 said it has entered into agreements with its lenders to reduce the company’s debt and provide additional capital in support of its restructuring.
In April, the retailer began the process of closing about 400 stores in order to focus on its more successful locations.
RadioShack – 1,000 stores
After 96 years in business, consumer electronics retailer RadioShack will have just 70 corporate and 500 dealer stores nationwide — down from 7,300 at its peak.
Over the Memorial Day holiday, RadioShack closed more than 1,000 stores across the country.
Abercrombie & Fitch – 60 stores
You can add Abercrombie & Fitch to the growing list of retailers that will be closing stores this year.
According to a news release, the company plans to shut down about 60 U.S. locations during fiscal 2017 as leases expire. Fortune reports that A&F will have 670 remaining stores, down from 839 just five years ago.
Guess – 60 stores
Guess is pulling the plug on 60 of its stores this year.
CEO Victor Herrero told analysts of the decision during a Q4 earnings call on March 15. It’s expected that most of the closures will be among the flagship Guess brand stores and Marciano locations.
Guess brands operate 945 retail stores in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Some 400 of those stores are in the United States.
Crocs – 160 stores
The Limited – 250 stores
After more than 50 years in business, The Limited closed all of its nearly 250 stores across the country on January 8. The retailer indicated that its website would live on, but no merchandise is for sale.
Wet Seal – 171 stores
American Apparel – 110 stores
Made in the USA clothing manufacturer American Apparel has closed its remaining 110 stores.
According to a news release from January 10, Canada-based Gildan Activewear’s $88 million bid at a bankruptcy auction won the rights to American Apparel’s brand and some assets.
However, retail store assets were not part of the purchase, according to Gildan.
BCBG – 120 stores
The Star Tribune reported in early February that liquidation sales were expected to run eight to 10 weeks before the stores closed for good.
The company’s mini-shops within Macy’s will remain open.
Gander Mountain – Undetermined
After filing for bankruptcy in March, outdoors retailer Gander Mountain has a new owner.
Liquidation sales were held at all 126 stores, but Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, the new owner, said he intends to keep dozens of locations open.
A final list of stores has not been released, but you can look for updates on gandermountain.com.
hhgregg – 220 stores
After more than six decades, electronics retailer hhgregg went out of business this year. The news came after hhgregg failed to find a buyer by its April 7 deadline.
GameStop – 150+ stores
GameStop has struggled due to weak sales of certain video games and “aggressive console promotions” from its competitors.
Staples – 70 stores
Staples said in March that it will close 70 locations throughout North America by the end of 2017.
During an earnings call, Staples said same store sales in North America were down 7% during the fourth quarter of 2016. The drop in sales was blamed on lower foot traffic.
RELATED: Staples to shutter 70 stores in 2017
Family Christian – 240 stores
Family Christian, the biggest seller of Christian books and merchandise in the nation, announced February 23 that 240 stores in 36 states would be permanently closed by May 13.