Weekly Store Openings and Closures Tracker #4

KEY POINTS

Fung Global Retail & Technology tracks store openings and closings for a select group of US retailers.

  • None of the retailers we track announced store openings this past week. Overall, retailers that are expanding their store footprint are: value concepts such as fast fashion, discount and off-price, and the beauty and sportswear (athleisure) specialty retailers.
  • During the past week, Rue 21 announced plans to close 400 stores, or 33% of its total store fleet. Sears and Kmart are closing 10 more stores than previously announced, as of today, and additional closures are not unlikely. In addition, Children’s retailer Gymboree is reportedly preparing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
  • Overall, store closure activity continues to exceed that of store openings, reflecting a worsening retail environment.

2017 Store Openings and Closings

Among the retailers we track, Rue 21 announced this past week the closing of 400 stores, or 33% of its total store fleet, citing its ongoing business transformation to focus on profitable locations. We previously reported that Rue 21 was preparing to file for bankruptcy, and this recent store closures plan further highlights the difficulties the retailer is facing. Sears and Kmart are reportedly closing 160 stores, 10 more than the originally announced numbers at the beginning of the year. More additional closures for Sears and Kmart are possible in the coming weeks. In addition, Children’s retailer Gymboree is also reported to be preparing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to WWD.

The majority of retailers that have been closing stores fall within the department store and specialty retail categories. Primary reasons include: 1) declining mall traffic; 2) reconfiguration of store networks as retailers shift online; and 3) cutting losses from unprofitable stores.

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Among the retailers we track, no store opening announcements were made during the past week.

Value-driven retail concepts such as discount and fast fashion have been aggressive in expanding their store footprint, despite the difficult retail environment. Categories such as beauty and athleisure are outperforming the market, which is evident in their footprint expansion over the past 15 months.

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2016 Store Openings and Closings

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