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Retail Store Closures: All the Companies That Are Downsizing in 2020

Whether it’s still described as a full-on retail apocalypse, or a sign of firms becoming more efficient, the slew of store closures across the industry continues to drag on.

Nationwide chains, specialty brands and designer clothiers are just some of the casualties this year, as shifting consumer demands and increasing pressure from e-commerce have forced the imminent closure of hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores.

In January alone, four big names in the fashion industry had announced an estimated 140 outposts headed for the chopping block, whether a result of business restructuring or changes in ownership.

Here, FN compiles a list of retailers turning off the lights in 2020.

Frye

All of Frye’s stores are slated to shut down for good. The New York-based boot maker announced in an early August email to customers that it would shutter its entire brick-and-mortar fleet of 16 stores in a bid to go “all in” on its digital business. “While 2020 has already been full of ups and downs, if our 157-year legacy has taught us anything, it’s the power of resilience,” the company wrote in the email, which was obtained by FN’s sister publication Sourcing Journal. (FN has reached out to Frye for additional confirmation.) “After careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to close all of our retail locations. We have loved being a part of your communities and remain committed to providing best-in-class service to all of our customers shopping with us online at www.TheFryeCompany.com.”

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H&M

In its six-month report, H&M announced plans to increase the pace of store closures and reduce the number of openings in 2020. Around 170 outposts are expected to shut down — 40 more than it had originally planned — and about 130 openings are anticipated. “As we have reopened our stores, sales have begun to recover at a faster rate than expected,” CEO Helena Helmersson said in a statement. “To meet the rapid changes in customer behavior caused by COVID-19, we are accelerating our digital development, optimizing the store portfolio and further integrating the channels.”

Neiman Marcus Last Call

Neiman Marcus is winding down its off-price business, shuttering a majority of its 22 Last Call stores and terminating approximately 500 positions within the division over the next eight months. The brand will also lay off about 250 non-selling associates across all stores. “This is not a reaction to anything happening in the economy now. It’s a strategic decision to redeploy resources,” NMG CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck told FN’s sister publication WWD. NMG will also close two distribution centers in Texas, in Longview and Las Colinas, to help fund its investments in product distribution.

Trunk Club

Nordstrom is shuttering all six of the personal styling service’s brick-and-mortar locations. But instead of shutting down the service, the chain said it would absorb Trunk Club into its department stores. “Our plans include relocating clubhouse styling to nearby Nordstrom stores to reach more customers while continuing to offer our core Trunk-based services,” said CEO Erik Nordstrom. The Seattle-based retailer acquired Trunk Club — then a men’s shopping service — in 2014.

Express

The apparel and accessories retailer has announced that roughly 100 outposts will shutter by 2022 as part of its “fleet rationalization” plan. Nine of those were already closed in 2019, with another 31 locations expected to shut down this month, an additional 35 by the end of January 2021 and the remainder over the course of 2022. As of November, Express had 411 mall-based locations and 215 outlet stores.

JCPenney

Another six of the mega-retailer’s stores are set to shutter this year as it continues to carry out its turnaround plan. The Plano, Texas-based company confirmed the closure of a half-dozen outposts: Southgate Mall in Missoula, Mont.; Myrtle Beach Mall in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Chapel Hill Mall in Akron, Ohio; North Hills Shopping Center in Raleigh, N.C.; Tulsa Promenade in Tulsa, Okla.; and Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. The locations are expected to close on April 24. JCPenney currently operates about 850 stores.

Opening Ceremony

Co-founders and co-creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon announced the closure of all Opening Ceremony stores by year’s end. The move follows the brand’s acquisition in mid-January by New Guards Group, a streetwear-focused firm that licenses brands, including Off-White, Palm Angels and Heron Preston. As part of the purchase, Opening Ceremony will shift from being a multi-brand retailer to focus solely on its namesake brand. Leon and Lim said they have plans to return to brick-and-mortar retail in the future, “but with a different mindset and perspective.”

Macy’s

Macy’s has confirmed the closure of roughly 30 stores. Over the next couple of months, the retailer expects to hold liquidation sales as it downsizes its fleet of brick-and-mortar outposts. The list includes its locations in Macon Mall in Georgia; University Mall in Illinois; Northgate Mall, Ohio Valley Mall, and Stow-Kent Plaza in northeast Ohio; Rivergate Mall in Tennessee; and in Washington, Cascade Mall, 54 East Main St. and 300 Pine St. — its Seattle flagship. One Bloomingdale’s location is also scheduled to shut down. A spokesperson said that Macy’s “regularly review[s] our store portfolio” and will provide an update on store closures at its investor day on Feb. 5.

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