- Kara Driscoll Staff Writer
More than 8,000 stores closed in 2017, a record estimate of closures compared to recent years.
The retail industry, which supports one in four American jobs, is undergoing major changes as consumers shift their focus to online shopping. Dozens of retailers filed for bankruptcy in 2017, and thousands of store locations closed across the U.S.
Here’s a list of some of the major closures and bankruptcies that impacted the retail industry:
Charming Charlie, a jewelry and accessories chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The chain, which has several store locations in the region, announced continued efforts to “stabilize its business.” Charming Charlie filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the District of Delaware. The chain expects to continue to operate the majority of its stores and its website during the court process. READ MORE
2. The Limited
The women’s clothing store announced in early January that it would close all brick-and-mortar stores, and later its parent company filed for bankruptcy. The parent company of women’s clothing store The Limited filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Court, and the store website has been taken offline.
Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, the latest sign of traditional retailers’ struggles as shoppers shun stores and buy online. The San Francisco-based company says it is seeking to reduce its debt by $900 million. It expects to operate its business and majority of its 1,300 stores during the restructuring.
The company, which owns BCBGMAXAZRIA, said in March it filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The company obtained a commitment of $45 million from loan lenders in new financing and filed its plan of reorganization.
5. Wet Seal
Teen clothing retailer Wet Seal abruptly closed all of its 148 brick-and-mortar stores in early 2017. According to a letter obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the retailer is permanently shutting down and will lay off all of its workers. The company is headquartered in California. Back in 2015, Wet Seal closed 338 of its 511 stores and filed for bankruptcy protection. Versa Capital then acquired the brand for $7.5 million in April 2015.
The chain retailer announced in March it was filing bankruptcy and closing about 200 of its stores and evaluating what to do with the remaining 1,300. This isn’t the first time RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy. Electronics retailer RadioShack announced it would close more than 30 stores in Ohio, including local ones in Kettering, Springfield, Columbus and Cincinnati.
Appliance store hhgregg announced in March it was closing 88 stores and laying off 1,500 employees, and four locations in Ohio will be impacted. A month later the company received court approval to close its remaining stores and liquidate its assets.
Sporting goods retailer Gander Mountain Company, which had a location in Huber Heights, filed for bankruptcy in March. Gander Mountain and some of its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code after the retailer “experienced traffic patterns and shifts in consumer demand resulting from increased direct-to-customer sales by key vendors and accelerated growth of e-commerce,” according to a company statement.
9. MC Sports
MC Sports, legally known as Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors, announced in February its plans to begin liquidation sales of all of its 68 stores. Two local stores were impacted.
AGI HoldCo Inc., which owns Aerosoles stores, has filed bankruptcy and plans to keep just four stores open in New York and New Jersey. The stores sell women’s shoes, and currently has 80 stores. The store had as many as 125 stores in 2012, and the company expects the restructuring process to be completed in approximately four months.
Payless ShoeSource announced in April that it would close 12 stores in Ohio after filing for bankruptcy. The Kansas-based retailer said it would close nearly 400 underperforming locations in the U.S. Payless’ North American entities, and two of its Hong Kong-based entities, filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
12. Kmart & Sears
Sears Holdings closed more than 350 stores in 2017. A document from Sears Holdings explained many of the stores “struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in hopes that they would turn around.” READ MORE
Other retailers that closed stores this year include: J.Crew, Vitamin World, Gap, Perfumania, Teavana, True Religion, Michael Kors, Bebe Stores, Rue21, Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, Crocs and Family Christian.
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