Based on figures from global marketing research firm Coresight Research, bankruptcy filings and company earnings reports, more than 6,500 stores are already slated to be shuttered.
Payless ShoeSource accounts for the largest number of closings with 2,590 stores, which are holding liquidation sales. Some stores will close by the end of March, with other locations staying open through the end of May, the company said.
In 2018, Coresight tracked 5,528 closings, which included all Toys R Us locations, plus hundreds of Mattress Firm stores, Kmart and Sears locations, and Brookstone’s remaining mall stores.
Coresight said 2017 marked the record year for closings with 8,139 shuttered stores. This included an earlier round of Payless closings, the entire HHGregg electronics and appliance chain, and hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores.
The first quarter of the year is historically the busiest for closings announcements, said Drew Myers, senior consultant with real-estate data firm CoStar Group, which looks at the size of stores when analyzing closings.
Square footage is a “really good gauge on the health of the retail market from a real estate standpoint,” Myers said. When square footage is taken into account, 2018 marks the top year for closings, with 155 million square feet of affected retail space.
Nine weeks into this year, 30 million square feet in closings has already been announced, CoStar’s data shows, a far cry from 2018. The difference in this year’s closings so far is fewer big box stores and more smaller chains affected, Myers said.
“These are retailers that may certainly lead us to a higher number of closings overall,” he said, “but in terms of the square footage of the retail market they may not move the needle that much.”
Some of the announced closures may carryover into 2020, which was the case with several closings announced in late 2018 such as Lowe’s, Sears and Kmart. Gap Inc. announced Feb. 28 it would close roughly 230 stores over two years.
Payless ShoeSource: 2,589 (includes 248 Canada locations and 114 smaller-format stores in Shopko Hometown locations). Here are the stores closing in March.
Gymboree/Crazy 8: 749
Charlotte Russe: More than 400 stores are expected to close by March 31 after beginning liquidation sales March 7. Ninety-four from an earlier wave of closings will be shuttered first.
Things Remembered: 422
Ascena Retail: 400
Family Dollar: As many as 390 stores
Shopko: Originally 251 stores were scheduled to close, but on March 18 the company said it will close all of its remaining locations by June.
Gap: Roughly 230 in next two years
LifeWay Christian Resources: All 170 stores.
Foot Locker: 165; total includes closings outside of the U.S.
Signet Jewelers: The parent company of Kay, Zales and Jared said it would close another 150 stores.
Tesla: Number of closings hasn’t been confirmed. Tesla initially said it was shifting sales online and would close locations but later reversed the decision.
Pier 1 Imports: Up to 145 stores
Destination Maternity: 117
Amazon pop-up stores: 87 (locations in stores like Kohl’s and Whole Foods)
Victoria’s Secret: 53
Vera Bradley: 50
Party City: 45
Bed Bath & Beyond: 40
J.C. Penney: 27
Henri Bendel: All 23 stores
Southeastern Grocers: 22
E.L.F. Beauty: All 22 stores
Saks Off 5th: 20
Whole Foods: 1
Calvin Klein: 1
Pottery Barn: 1