Retail alert: Toys R Us will likely close all U.S. stores

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Retail alert: Toys R Us will likely close all U.S. stores

The new year has already been a difficult one for traditional retailers. After shutting down more than 5,000 stores in 2017, there have been more than 1,500 store closures announced in the first few months of 2018.

The latest reports about Toys R Us could push that number a lot higher in the coming days. Read on for the details…

2018 retail closings: What you need to know 

Toys R Us – Liquidation soon

It’s a sad day for Toys R Us kids across the country. The iconic Wayne, New Jersey-based toy retailer told employees Wednesday that it will sell or close all of its roughly 800 U.S. stores, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

USA Today adds that Toys R Us may survive in some form if a buyer comes forward to take over some of the stores.

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2017, before the Black Friday holiday shopping season began. It then announced plans in January 2018 to close about 180 locations.

The company planned to file liquidation papers Wednesday night ahead of a bankruptcy court hearing on Thursday, according to the WSJ.

When reports began to surface last week that a liquidation was likely, Toys R Us sent out the following tweet to thank loyal customers for their “outpouring of love and support.”

The WSJ reports that up to 33,000 jobs could be lost in the coming months as a result of the 70-year-old retailer’s demise.

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.

Bon-Ton – 42 stores

Bon-Ton closing stores in 2018

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., a department store chain, is closing more than 40 underperforming locations this year, including stores under all of the company’s nameplates.

“As part of the comprehensive turnaround plan we announced in November, we are taking the next steps in our efforts to move forward with a more productive store footprint,” said Bill Tracy, president and chief executive officer for The Bon-Ton Stores. “Including other recently announced store closures, we expect to close a total of 47 stores in early 2018. We remain focused on executing our key initiatives to drive improved performance in an effort to strengthen our capital structure to support the business going forward.”

Store closing sales are scheduled to begin on February 1 and run for approximately 10 to 12 weeks, the company said in a news release. Associates at the affected locations will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at other stores.

Here’s a full list of the closing stores: 

  1. Herberger’s, Pine Ridge Mall, Chubbuck, Idaho
  2. Carson’s Clearance Center, Aurora Shopping Center, Aurora, Illinois
  3. Carson’s, Riverside Plaza, Chicago, Illinois
  4. Carson’s, Village Mall, Danville, Illinois
  5. Carson’s, Northland Plaza, DeKalb, Illinois
  6. Carson’s Clearance Center, Village Plaza, Morton Grove, Illinois
  7. Bergner’s, Sheridan Village, Peoria. Illinois
  8. Carson’s, Streets of Woodfield, Schaumburg, Illinois
  9. Carson’s, Mounds Mall, Anderson, Indiana
  10. Carson’s, Fair Oaks Mall, Columbus, Indiana
  11. Carson’s, Concord Mall, Elkhart, Indiana
  12. Carson’s, Circle Centre Mall, Indianapolis, Indiana
  13. Carson’s, Five Points Mall, Marion, Indiana
  14. Younkers, College Square Mall, Cedar Falls, Iowa
  15. Younkers, Westdale Mall, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  16. Elder-Beerman, Kentucky Oaks Mall, Paducah, Kentucky
  17. Elder-Beerman, Adrian Mall, Adrian, Michigan
  18. Carson’s, Orchards Mall, Benton Harbor, Michigan
  19. Herberger’s Clearance Center, Birch Run Station, Maplewood, Minnesota
  20. Bon-Ton, Steeplegate Mall, Concord, New Hampshire
  21. Bon-Ton, Phillipsburg Mall, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
  22. Bon-Ton, Aviation Mall, Queensbury, New York
  23. Bon-Ton, Salmon Run Mall, Watertown, New York
  24. Elder-Beerman, Northtowne Mall, Defiance, Ohio
  25. Bon-Ton, The Point at Carlisle Plaza, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  26. Bon-Ton, The Commons, Dubois, Pennsylvania
  27. Bon-Ton, Millcreek Mall, Erie, Pennsylvania
  28. Bon-Ton, The Johnstown Galleria, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  29. Bon-Ton, Susquehanna Valley Mall, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
  30. Bon-Ton, Nittany Mall, State College, Pennsylvania
  31. Bon-Ton, Stroud Mall, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
  32. Bon-Ton, Trexler Mall, Trexlertown, Pennsylvania
  33. Herberger’s, Cache Valley Mall, Logan, Utah
  34. Younkers, Fox River Mall Appleton, Wisconsin
  35. Boston Store, Heritage Village, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
  36. Elder-Beerman, Eclipse Center, Beloit, Wisconsin
  37. Younkers, Forrest Mall, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
  38. Younkers, Lakeshore Edgewater Plaza, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
  39. Younkers, Pine Tree Mall, Marinette, Wisconsin
  40. Boston Store Clearance Center, 5659 S. 27th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  41. Younkers, Mariner Mall, Superior, Wisconsin
  42. Younkers, Wausau Center Mall, Wausau, Wisconsin

Previously announced:

  1. Bon-Ton, Valley Mall, Hagerstown, Maryland
  2. Younkers, Westwood Mall, Marquette, Michigan
  3. Bon-Ton, St. Lawrence Centre, Massena, New York
  4. Bon-Ton, University Mall, South Burlington, Vermont
  5. Elder-Beerman, Grand Central Mall, Vienna, West Virginia

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

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

Sears and Kmart – 103 stores

Sears and Kmart closing stores in 2018

Just days after the holiday shopping season ended, Sears Holdings announced that it’s closing more than 100 stores.

In a news release, the struggling retailer said it told associates at 64 Kmart and 39 Sears stores that the locations will be shut down between early March and early April 2018.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as January 12 at the impacted department stores. See the full list here.

“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size,” the company said in a statement. “In the process, as previously announced we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members.”

Sears Holdings previously announced plans to shut down 63 Kmart and Sears stores this January. The company closed more than 350 locations last year.

J. Crew – 50 stores

J. Crew closing stores in 2018

After reporting a 12% sales drop for its third quarter, J. Crew said it will close dozens of stores by the end of January 2018, CNN Money reported.

In a news release, J.Crew said it expects to close 50 stores during fiscal 2017, which ends in January.

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.

Fortune reports that a court ruling has blocked Starbucks from closing Teavana locations at Simon-owned malls — at least for now.

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.

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