Report: Sears is closing another 40 stores

2018 has been yet another challenging year for traditional retailers. After shutting down more than 5,000 stores in 2017, there have been more than 2,500 store closures announced over the past few months.

The latest news comes from a department store chain that’s been struggling for years. Read on for the details…

RELATED: These 17 retail chains are opening thousands of stores in 2018

2018 retail closings: The latest news 

Sears and Kmart – 40 additional stores 

Sears closing additional stores

Dozens of additional Sears and Kmart stores are closing soon. Business Insider reports that at least 40 stores — 31 Sears and nine Kmart locations — will shut down by August.

The affected stores are reportedly in 24 states, including California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina.

These closures come after Sears Holdings closed 103 stores in April, following the closure of 63 locations in January. The retailer closed more than 350 stores last year.

Read more about the latest round of store closings from Business Insider.

Previously announced store closures 

Subway – 500 restaurants 

Subway restaurants

Subway plans to close 500 of its U.S. sandwich shops this year and will focus on expanding internationally, according to Bloomberg.

The company has faced competition from McDonald’s, supermarkets and even gas stations. It’s reportedly struggling to increase sales in the U.S. as new options emerge.

There are still more than 25,000 Subway locations across the country.

Bon-Ton – 256 stores

Bon-Ton closing stores in 2018

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., a department store chain, announced in mid-April that it’s going out of business.

The store has been an icon of retail since 1854 with 256 locations today in operation throughout 23 states in the Midwest, Northeast and upper Great Plains.

Bon-Ton also owns six other nameplates: Boston Store, Younkers, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman and Herberger’s.

The liquidation process in all Bon-Ton stores began on April 20 and is expected to run for approximately 10 to 12 weeks. Customers can learn more at bontonrestructuring.com.

GNC – 200 stores 

GNC 200 stores shutting down

Vitamin retailer GNC is shutting down about 200 stores in 2018. The company said efforts toward favorable lease renegotiations or relocation opportunities are ongoing and may impact the number of closings.

Toys R Us – 735 stores 

It’s a sad day for Toys R Us kids across the country.

The iconic Wayne, New Jersey-based toy retailer announced in a news release that it filed a motion seeking Bankruptcy Court approval to begin the process of winding down its U.S. business — liquidating all 735 of its stores.

“This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years,” said Toys R Us Chairman and CEO and Dave Brandon.

Here are three things Toys R Us shoppers need to know about the going-out-of-business sales:

  1. Liquidation sales began Friday, March 23 at Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations nationwide.
  2. Use any remaining gift cards before they become worthless! USA Today reports that the retailer plans to honor gift cards until mid-April.
  3. Toys R Us is expected to finish liquidating stores by the end of June, although some stores may close sooner.

J. Crew – 20 stores

J. Crew closing stores in 2018

J.Crew Group announced in March that it plans to close 20 stores in 2018. It shut down 50 stores during fiscal 2017.

The retailer says it’s seeing results in its most important business — women’s apparel — but the company is only in the beginning stages of evolving the J.Crew brand.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, J.Crew sales decreased 4% and Madewell sales rose 32%.

Abercrombie & Fitch – 60 stores

Abercrombie & Fitch isn’t finished shrinking its retail footprint. The teen apparel company said it plans to close about 60 stores in the U.S. during the fiscal year as leases expire.

CNBC reports that Abercrombie has been trimming its store count in malls because more people are buying clothes online.

Foot Locker – 110 stores 

Foot Locker

Your favorite shoe store may be closing soon — Foot Locker is shutting down 110 stores in 2018.

During a recent earnings call, Foot Locker executives said the retailer is continuing to close underperforming stores. The company has struggled with declining foot traffic at malls and the shift to e-commerce.

Foot Locker reported a net loss of $49 million in the fourth quarter and comparable-store sales fell 3.7%.

Best Buy cell phone stores – 250 stores

Best Buy

Your local mall may have another vacancy soon. Best Buy has announced that it will shut down 250 mall-based mobile phone stores in the United States, Reuters reports.

The small-format stores will close May 31, but the retailer will continue to sell cell phones at its 1,000 U.S. big box stores and online.

J.C. Penney – 8 stores 

After closing more than 140 stores in 2017, J.C. Penney is shutting down one of its distribution centers and eight more stores nationwide, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Around 670 jobs will be cut with the closing of the distribution center in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, this summer.

Meanwhile, around 480 employees will be affected by the eight stores that are closing, which follows a post-holiday review. The locations will be shut down between now and May, according to CNBC.

Here’s a list of the affected stores:

  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Paramus, New Jersey
  • Galesburg, Illinois
  • Alexandria, Minnesota
  • Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Burlington, Washington
  • Calexico, California
  • Mt. Vernon, Ohio

J.C. Penney still operates approximately 875 stores nationwide.

Sam’s Club – 63 stores

Sam's Club

Bad news for Sam’s Club members! The Walmart-owned warehouse club has abruptly shut down multiple locations across the country, according to local media reports.

The retailer has confirmed that 63 clubs are closing and up to 12 of them will be converted to e-commerce fulfillment centers.

“Transforming our business means managing our real estate portfolio and Walmart needs a strong fleet of Sam’s Clubs that are fit for the future,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “We know this is difficult news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations. Our focus today has been on those associates and their communities, and communicating with them.”

Walmart said the impacted clubs will close over the next few weeks, leaving 597 Sam’s Club locations.

Several people have used Twitter to ask for an official list of the stores that are going away. Sam’s Club has replied by directing them to the store locator tool on SamsClub.com.

Click here for a list of closing Sam’s Club locations, based on local media reports

Macy’s – 11 stores

Macy's closing stores in 2018

Nearly a dozen Macy’s department stores will soon be closing their doors forever.

In a news release, the company announced the closure of 11 Macy’s stores. It’s part of the retailer’s plan to close approximately 100 stores, which was announced back in August 2016.

Macy’s intends to close an additional 19 stores as leases or operating covenants expire or sale transactions are completed.

The following Macy’s stores will be closing in early 2018. In most cases, clearance sales will begin on January 8, 2018, and run for approximately 8 to 12 weeks.

  1. Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, CA
  2. Westside Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
  3. Novato (Furniture), Novato, CA
  4. Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco, CA
  5. The Oaks, Gainesville, FL
  6. Miami (Downtown), Miami, FL
  7. Magic Valley Mall, Twin Falls, ID
  8. Honey Creek Mall, Terre Haute, IN
  9. Birchwood Mall, Fort Gratiot Township, MI
  10. Fountain Place, Cincinnati, OH
  11. Burlington Town Center, Burlington, VT

Gap and Banana Republic – 200 stores 

Gap, Banana Republic closing stores in 2018

Gap Inc. plans to close 200 Gap and Banana Republic locations over the next three years, the company announced in September 2017. No list of the stores was released, but they’re all “underperforming.”

At the same time, Gap Inc. will open 270 locations for its growing brands, Old Navy and Athleta.

Teavana – 379 stores

Teavana closing stores in 2018

Bad news for tea lovers! Starbucks plans to close every single one of its Teavana retail locations, according to a news release.

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.

Ascena Retail Group – At least 268 stores

Ann Taylor closing stores in 2018

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.

In June 2017, 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 closing stores in 2018

Michael Kors is closing between 100 and 125 of its retail stores over the next two years.

According to a May 2017 news release, the company is making the move to improve the profitability of its store fleet. No list of the affected stores was released.

Clark’s key takeaway

If you happen to receive a gift card for any of the retailers on this list, money expert Clark Howard wants you to spend it right away in case your local store is on the chopping block.

“If you have any gift cards for major retailers, I want you to go and shop. I want you to use them up,” Clark said.

More Clark.com retail coverage:

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