Special Report

These 20 Retailers Closed the Most Stores Last Year

Source: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine / Wikimedia Commons

15. Bed Bath & Beyond
> Closures: 200
> Brand affected: Bed Bath & Beyond

Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond announced plans to shutter 200 locations — over one-fifth of its brick-and-mortar footprint — over a two-year period beginning in July 2020. The first 63 closures were completed in 2020, and about another 60 were shut down in the first two months of 2021.

As is the case with many retailers on this list, Bed Bath & Beyond was struggling before the pandemic hit, and location closures were already in the works.

14. Dine Brands Global
> Closures: 202
> Brands affected: Applebee’s, IHOP

Dine Brands Global is the parent company of the IHOP and Applebee’s restaurant chains — both of which have reported significant revenue declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the company shuttered 52 underperforming Applebee’s locations and 35 IHOP locations in the first three quarters of 2020. Over the fourth quarter of 2020, Dine Brands closed another 15 Applebees and closed another 100 IHOPS through the first quarter of 2021.

A company spokesperson stated an expectation that these underperforming locations will eventually be replaced by stronger performing restaurants, though the company’s most recent earnings report — fourth quarter of 2020 — fell short of expectations.

Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

13. J.C. Penney Company
> Closures: 242
> Brand affected: J.C. Penney

Two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020, department store J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As part of a restructuring agreement, the company announced the imminent closure of 242 brick-and-mortar stores. By December 2020, the company had already closed 150 locations, and another 15 were closed in early 2021.

Like many troubled retailers reducing their store count, J.C. Penney has long been a staple in American shopping malls, which, even before the pandemic, were suffering from reduced foot traffic.

12. The Children’s Place
> Closures: 300
> Brand affected: The Children’s Place

Child clothing retailer The Children’s Place closed 178 locations in 2020 and plans to shutter another 122 in 2021. Closures were due in large part to sales declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, like many other stores that are commonly found in shopping malls, The Children’s Place struggles began long before the pandemic. The company’s profits have fallen in each of the last two fiscal years.

11. Signet Jewelry
> Closures: 300
> Brands affected: Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, and Piercing Pagoda

Signet Jewelry, the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer and parent company of brands that are staples in American malls such as Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Piercing Pagoda, temporarily shuttered locations across North America at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020, the company announced 150 of those locations would not reopen. The company announced plans to shutter an additional 150 stores by February 2021.

Even before the pandemic, the company had reduced its footprint by 13% in declining malls. The latest closures represent 20% of the company’s North American locations.

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