49 stores you once loved that don't exist anymore

APBabies R Us
  • In 2020, more than 6,300 stores are set to close across the United States. In 2019, more than 9,300 stores closed.
  • From declining foot traffic to the rise of e-commerce, countless stores have permanently closed their doors for a number of reasons.
  • But even when shopping malls were in their heyday, many stores still shuttered for various reasons.
  • Department stores like Bon-Ton and Ames, bookstores like Waldenbooks and Borders, and clothing stores like Wet Seal and Limited Too are among the many stores that have permanently shut their doors.
  • Here are 49 once-beloved stores that don’t exist anymore.


Thom McAn was a chain of shoe stores that had over 1,400 stores at its peak in the 1960s. The chain had closed by 1996, but Thom McAn shoes are still available at Sears and Kmart.

AP Photo/Justin Ide

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Kinney Shoes opened in 1894. It had 467 stores at its peak, all of which shuttered in 1998.

YouTube/Bionic Disco

Source: LA Times


In 1992, Blockbuster acquired the Sound Warehouse and Music Plus music chains and created Blockbuster Music. The chain was sold to Wherehouse entertainment in 1998 before closing for good.

Getty

Source: BuzzFeed


Warner Bros. Studio Store competed with the Disney store until the company closed all of its locations in 2001.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Zany Brainy stores filed for bankruptcy in 2001, and the educational toy retailer’s founder, David Schlessinger, now runs the discount company Five Below.

Dan Loh/AP

Source: Business Insider


Ames Department Store had more than 700 locations, but debt and poor sales forced it into bankruptcy twice. In 2002, the remaining Ames stores closed.

Wikimedia

Source: The New York Times


Imaginarium was an educational toy store in the 1980s. Stores started closing in the 1990s, and by 2003, its parent company Toys R Us had closed them all.

AP Photo/Jeff Zelevansky

Source: Business Insider


Hecht’s Department Store was founded in 1857. In 2005, the chain was purchased by Macy’s and all locations were either turned into Macy’s stores or closed.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Source: The Baltimore Sun


Federated Department Stores bought Marshall Field’s in 2005 and converted the stores to the company’s more recognisable flagship brand, Macy’s.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Source: The New York Times


Gadzooks was a teen clothing store that was around from 1983 to 2005. It filed for bankruptcy in its final year and was purchased by Forever 21, which then closed all of the stores.

Getty

Source: Buzzfeed


Kaufmann’s was a department store that had 44 locations at its peak. In 2006, Macy’s retired the name, and the brand disappeared.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Tower Records was one of the largest record stores in the 1990s, but it couldn’t keep up with the rise of digital music. All Tower Records stores in the US were closed in 2006.

Getty

Source: The Guardian


Media Play was opened by the same company as Sam Goody, serving as a big-box version of the store. It closed for good in 2006.

Flickr/AdamL212

Source: Buzzfeed


Discovery Channel stores sold educational books, videos, and gifts, but all 103 standalone stores closed in 2007.

AP Photo/Terry Gilliam

Source: Denver Post


K·B Toys operated over 1,300 stores across all 50 states. The chain announced it would be going out of business in 2008, and by early 2009 all locations were closed.

AP/Damian Dovarganes

Source: Buzzfeed


Sharper Image declared bankruptcy in 2008. But the company still sells merchandise through its website, catalogue, and third-party retail partners.

Eric Risberg/AP

Source: Business Insider


Levitz Furniture was founded way back in 1910. It declared bankruptcy twice — first in 1997, and then in 2005. It closed all of its stores in 2008.

Wikicommons/Laurie Avocado

Source: Business Insider


Linens ‘n Things had over 500 stores in 2006, but by the end of 2008, they were all closed. The company still does business online.

Getty

Source: The Seattle Times


Mervyn’s was a California-based department store founded in 1949 that had almost 200 locations in the western US. In 2008, the company declared bankruptcy and closed all of its stores.

AP Photo/Ben Margot

Source: The LA Times


Limited Too, The Limited’s children’s store, launched in 1987. Its success began dwindling in the early 2000s, and all Limited Too stores were eventually rebranded as Justice by 2008.

Associated Press

Source: Bustle


Tweeter was an electronics chain that started in 1972, but all of its stores were closed by the end of 2008.

Flickr/Dalvenjah FoxFire

Source: Reuters


Circuit City had 567 stores in 2008. By 2009, they were all closed.

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Source: The New York Times


Steve & Barry’s sold inexpensive sportswear for teens. It closed all of its stores in 2009.

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Source: Buzzfeed


Filene’s Department Store, a Boston-based department store, went bankrupt in 2009, and there are no more brick-and-mortar locations left.

AP Photo/Lisa Poole

Source: New York Times


B. Dalton Books was acquired by Barnes & Noble in 1987, which officially closed the bookstore in January 2010.

AP Photo/Ricardo Santos

Source: Buzzfeed


Filene’s Basement was an off-price store that started in Filene’s and eventually grew to 20 locations. Its parent company went bankrupt in 2009, and by 2011 all Filene’s Basement stores were closed.

Getty

Source: New York Times


Waldenbooks was founded in 1933 and grew to 250 locations in 15 years. In 1994, the company merged with Borders, and in 2011 all Waldenbooks stores closed when Borders Group liquidated.

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Source: Buzzfeed


Borders Books & Music stores also all closed shortly after the company was forced to liquidate in 2011.

Getty

Source: Business Insider


CompUSA started in 1984 as a chain specializing in computer hardware and software. But by 2007, Best Buy and other superstores had taken over, and the last CompUSA closed in 2012.

AP Photo/Donna McWilliam

Source: CBS News


Sam Goody music stores opened back in the 1940s but suffered from the rise of digital media. Most Sam Goody stores were either shuttered or converted into other brands like FYE by 2012.

Dawn Villella / AP

Source: Bustle


Blockbuster, the iconic video rental store, announced in 2013 that it would begin closing most locations. Only a single Blockbuster remains in Bend, Oregon.

Yelp/Scott K.

Source: Business Insider


A&P was the largest grocery store chain in the US from 1915 to 1975. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010 and again in 2015, closing its stores that year.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Source: USA Today


Sports Authority had more than 200 locations in the US, but competition drove the company into bankruptcy in 2016, when it closed all its stores and sold its website to competing brand Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Getty

Source: Chicago Tribune


Sport Chalet, which first opened in 1959, abruptly closed all of its stores in 2016.

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Source: LA Times


Wet Seal, a teen clothing store, filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and closed for good in 2017. Even though its stores are closed, you can still shop online.

Kirsten Acuna/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider


Virgin Megastores stopped operating in the US in 2017, mostly because of the rapidly declining CD market.

Getty

Source: Business Insider


Radio Shack closed more than 1,000 stores after filing for bankruptcy in March 2017.

Mary Hanbury

Source: Business Insider


The Limited abruptly shut down all 250 of its stores in 2017.

Facebook/The Limited

Source: Business Insider


Teavana’s 379 locations were closed by its parent company Starbucks in 2018.

Starbucks

Source: Business Insider


All 256 of the Bon-Ton stores were liquidated in 2018. The Bon-Ton stores include its namesake …

AP Images / Rusty Kennedy

Source: CNN Money


… Bergner’s …

Facebook/Bergner’s

Source: Business Insider


… Boston Store …

Facebook/Boston Store

Source: CNN Money


… Elder-Beerman …

Facebook/Elder-Beerman

Source: CNN Money


… and Younkers.

Facebook/Younkers

Source: CNN Money


Toys R Us and its subsidiaries closed in 2018. While the Toys R Us store and website came back in 2019, Babies R Us has yet to make a comeback in the US.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerBabies R Us before it closed.

Sources: USA Today, Business Insider


LifeWay Christian Resources said it would be closing all its stores in March 2018, but it still sells books, bibles, and church supplies online.

LifeWay

Source: Business Insider


After 123 years of business, Henri Bendel closed all its stores in January 2019.

Source: Business Insider


Dress Barn announced the closing of all 650 of their store locations in May 2019.

Getty

Source: Business Insider


Papyrus, a stationary and greeting card retailer, filed for bankruptcy and confirmed it would close all its stores on January 23, 2020, but Papyrus greeting cards are still available at retailers like Target.

Geri Lavrov / Contributor / Getty Images

Source: Target, Business Insider

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