- The Children’s Place, Zara owner Inditex, Guess, Calvin Klein owner G-III Apparel Group, and Signet Jewellers announced more than 2,100 store closings within the past week.
- The moves follow more than 700 store closings announced in May by JCPenney, Nordstrom, Tuesday Morning, and Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands.
- As many as 25,000 stores are expected to close this year, smashing last year’s record of 9,300 closings.
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The pace of store closings is picking up, signalling trouble ahead for shopping malls.
Within the past week, five mall-based companies – The Children’s Place, Zara owner Inditex, Guess, Calvin Klein owner G-III Apparel Group, and Signet Jewellers – announced more than 2,100 store closings.
The Children’s Place said Thursday that it planned to close about one-third of its stores, or 300 locations, through 2021. It will close 200 locations this year.
On Wednesday, Zara owner Inditex said it planned to shutter between 1,000 and 1,200 stores over the next two years. In addition to the Zara brand, Inditex owns Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home, and Uterqüe. The company did not specify which brands would see store closures.
Also on Wednesday, the apparel company Guess said it would close 100 stores within the next 18 months in the US and China.
On Tuesday, Signet Jewellers, which owns Kay Jewellers, Zales, Jared, H. Samuel, and other brands, said it would close 380 stores before the end of the year.
On June 4, G-III Apparel Group said it planned to close all 110 of its Wilsons Leather stores and all 89 of its G.H. Bass stores. G-III also owns DKNY, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger.
As the pandemic drags on, the number of store closings is expected to grow exponentially – and disproportionately affect malls.
Coresight Research this week revised its estimate of total US store closings this year from an initial projection of 15,000 closings to as many as 25,000. That would far exceed last year’s record 9,300 store closings.
The firm said it updated its estimate in light of the “escalating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Of the closings it anticipates, about 55 to 60% of these stores will be in malls, and “apparel retail and department stores look set to feature prominently,” the firm said.
As retail stores go dark, malls could struggle to find replacement tenants and eventually shut down.
Retail consultant Jan Kniffen told CNBC this week that he expected one-third of America’s roughly 1,000 malls to close by 2021 as a result of the pandemic.
“The mall has been losing ground for a long time, now it’s losing ground faster,” he said.