As U.S. employment continues to improve in the years after the recession, Americans are more likely to have disposable income to spend on clothes and goods. Retail sales in the United States rose for the third straight month through January. Unfortunately for many brick-and-mortar retailers, an increasingly large share of Americans are shopping online, and sales at electronics and appliance stores and department stores fell by roughly 5% each compared to the same time last year.
American brick-and-mortar retailers have had to make significant adjustments, and often this involves closing down stores. Major retailers such as Walgreens, Sports Authority, and even Walmart plan on closing at least 100 stores in the next year or so.
Companies close stores for different reasons. In some cases, the shuttering of a particular store may be the product of nothing more than optimization and not the signal of a serious crisis. In the case of Office Depot, which is in the process of closing approximately 400 locations due to its 2013 merger with OfficeMax, the new company is going through the process of consolidating operations and closing down excess stores.
In many cases, the shutting down of dozens, if not hundreds of store locations is a product of deeply struggling businesses. This is the case for casual apparel store American Eagle, which plans on closing 150 locations by 2017. In 2008, the retailer reported a net income of $400 million. By 2015, that figure had fallen to just 80 million.
In the case of Sports Authority, bankruptcy itself — caused by debt and weak retail sales — created the need for store closings. The retailer announced it will shutter 140 locations over the next few months.
To identify the companies closing the most stores, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed large U.S. retailers that have announced store closings for 2016 or that are in the process of multi-year plans to reduce store counts. Company earnings, store and employee counts, as well as other financial information came from SEC filings.
Update: to reflect the recent announcement by Tailored Brands: Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank have been added to the list, as an anticipated 109-119 will be closed during fiscal 2016 for the former, and between 129 and 139 for the latter during fiscal 2016.
These are the 10 retailers closing the most stores.