In a terse, 40-word message posted on the company’s website Saturday, The Limited announced that it is closing all 250 of its retail stores. The announcement noted that the company’s website would remain open for business, 24 hours a day. A reported 4,000 jobs will be lost.
The Limited was founded in 1963 as a women’s specialty apparel shop that opened relatively small stores in shopping malls around the company. The Limited’s business was split off from what is now L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) in 2007 and fully taken over in 2010 by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, which had purchased a majority stake in The Limited in 2007.
The message posted at the company’s website reads:
This isn’t goodbye…
We’re sad to say that all The Limited stores nationwide have officially closed their doors.
But this isn’t goodbye.
The styles you love are still available online – We’re just a quick click away 24 hours a day.
Brick-and-mortar retailers had a tough holiday shopping season and the poor results at Macy’s led to the closing of 68 stores and the loss of up to 10,000 jobs.
In many ways, brick-and-mortar shops like The Limited act as billboards for the company’s online business. Without traditional stores to show the flag, it seems likely that The Limited’s online store will last only long enough to clear out existing inventory.