Consumer Watch: Store Closings And Your Holiday Shopping
Christmas shoppers will be finding some fantastic buys this holiday season as stores vie for consumer dollars in a bid to hold on in a tough market. Unfortunately, a number of stores that are in operation during the month of December will close beginning in January, with some being shutting down system wide while others will involve cut backs in the number of their locations.
A word to the wise: check out each store’s return policies as “all sales final” could apply to your purchase. Never give a store gift card out for a business that won’t be around in the near future. Honest retailers won’t offer them, but even a good business that suddenly collapses may not be able to honor them.
Special thanks to Deborah Petersen of Life In The Fast Lane for passing store closing information for retailers operating in Canada and the U.S. The list includes the following stores, please visit their respective websites for up to date information:
- Circuit City stores — 155 will be closed.
- Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide are to be shuttered.
- Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug ,and Catherine’s to close 150 store nationwide.
- Eddie Bauer has closed 29 stores, but has also opened up 10 new ones.
- Cache has closed 14 underperforming stores, but is still opening up new locations.
- Talbots has closed down some stores while seeking to sell off its J. Jill subsidiary.
- GAP has closed several poor performing stores while opening up new ones. The company plans to close down additional poor performing stores in 2009 while moving forward with plans to open up new stores.
- Footlocker has closed 334 stores since 2007 with additional closings expected in 2009.
- Wickes Furniture closing down.
- Levitz closing down remaining stores.
- Bombay closing remaining stores (all in Canada).
- Zales has closed about 105 stores and kiosks while opening up nearly 100 new stores outlets in 2008.
- Whitehall closing all stores.
- Kirkland (home decor) expects to close 130 of its 335 stores in 2009.
- Disney has closed 98 stores since being reacquired by the Walt Disney Company.
- Home Depot closed 15 underperforming stores in 2008.
- Macys closed 11 stores in 2008.
- Linens and Things closing all stores.
- Movie Galley/Hollywood Video closed some stores after reorganizing following bankruptcy but still operates 3500 outlets.
- Pacific Sunware closing all d.e.m.o. stores, but will keep core outlets open.
- Pep Boys closed 31 poor performing stores in 2007.
- Sprint/ Nextel has closed or is in the process of closing 125 stores.
- Ethan Allen has closed down 12 stores and 2 design centers in 2008.
- Wilson Leather shut down its mall based operations this past fall, but 119 remaining Wilsons Outlets are now controlled by A.M. Retail which is honoring Wilson Leather gift cards.
- Sharper Image is in the process of closing down its remaining stores.
- Lowes has closed down a few stores, but opened up far more in 2008 with additional expansion expected in 2009.
- Dillard’s has closed 21 stores in 2008 with additional store closings expected in 2009.
I updated this list to reflect new information as well as to refute some store closing rumors that have been circulating. Again, check with each retailer to determine what the current status of their operation is as some retailers may survive another day, be bought out, or take their business online in a bid to ensure their survival.
Adv. — Do you need some great gift ideas? Does the thought of venturing out to the mall have you stressed even feeling anxious? If so, then look for what you want to buy online! Visit nBuy Plaza to find better deals than your local strip mall. While there, print out Santa’s List and download your free Christmas Party Holiday Kit to help you plan your social events for the month of December, even beyond. Happy shopping!
Photo Credit: Sanja Gjenero