12,000 Stores Could Close in 2019, Says Report

Bankruptcy Real Estate Retail

Pace Of Store Closures Up Over 2018

The incredible shrinking retail landscape continues to diminish, and Rockland County is feeling the contraction. Empty stores fronts in the Route 59 corridor and in the Palisades Center are victims of the retail apocalypse, a syndrome occurring nationwide as a response to both a glut of retail as well as a migration to online shopping. And now with a potential recession looming and a tariff war, the prospects of a healthy retail scene looks even more pessimistic.

According to a new report from global marketing research firm Coresight Research, there have been 29% more store closings announced in 2019 compared to all of 2018. Based on Coresight Research’s figures, retailers’ earnings reports, bankruptcy filings and other records, more than 7,600 stores are slated to shutter this year and thousands of locations already gone.

Bankrupt footwear company Payless ShoeSource, which closed its remaining U.S. stores in late June, accounts for about 37% of the closings.

The “going-out-of-business” sales and liquidation of other brands is expected to continue. Coresight estimates closures could reach 12,000 by the end of the year, the report said.

Coresight, which has offices in Manhattan, London and Hong Kong, tracked the 5,864 closings in 2018, which included all Toys R Us stores and hundreds of Kmart and Sears locations.

The record year for closings was 2017, with 8,139 shuttered stores, Coresight found. This included an earlier round of Payless closings, the entire HHGregg electronics and appliance chain, and hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores.

The pain is expected to continue, according to an April report from UBS Securities. UBS analysts said 75,000 more stores would need to be shuttered by 2026 if e-commerce penetration rises to 25% from its current level of 16%.

A separate analysis by UBS said tariffs on Chinese imports could put $40 billion of sales and 12,000 stores at risk.

“The market is not realizing how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in the May report. “We think potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility.”

Closing all locations

Thousands of locations have already closed this year with the final Payless stores finishing their liquidation sales in June. All Charlotte Russe stores closed in April but the company’s new owner has started to open new stores.

Payless ShoeSource2,589 (includes 248 Canada locations and 114 smaller-format stores in Shopko Hometown locations).

Gymboree/Crazy 8749

Dressbarn: 649. Here are the locations closing in July and August.

Charlotte Russe494; but the company’s new owner is opening new stores.

Shopko: 371

Charming Charlie261

Avenue: 222

LifeWay Christian Resources170


Henri Bendel: 23

E.L.F. Beauty: 22

Topshop: All 11 U.S. stores

Over 7,000 store closings have already been announced in 2019. Time

Barneys New York bankruptcy: Luxury retailer files for bankruptcy and announces 15 closing stores. See the list.

Perkins, Marie Callender’s bankruptcy: Restaurant chain filed for bankruptcy after closing 29 locations

More closings

Some of the announced closures may carryover into 2020, which was the case with several closings announced in late 2018 such as Lowe’sSears and Kmart. Gap Inc. announced Feb. 28 it would close roughly 230 stores over two years. Some retailers also are opening new stores while closing locations including Bath & Body Works and Abercrombie & Fitch. 

GNC192 stores closed in first six months of year; up to 900 over the next three years.

Family DollarAs many as 390 stores

Fred’s: 442; the company said July 12 it would close another 129 stores.

Chico’s: 74, but 250 over the next three years.

Gap: Roughly 230 in next two years


Foot Locker: 165, total includes closings outside of the U.S.

Signet JewelersThe parent company of Kay, Zales and Jared said it would close another 150 stores.

Pier 1 Imports57, but up to 145 could close.

Ascena Retail: 120

Destination Maternity: 117

Sears21 more stores will close in October; 72 stores closed earlier this year

Party City: 55

Victoria’s Secret53

Vera Bradley: 50

Office Depot: 50

Kmart: Five more stores will close in October48 stores closed earlier this year

CVS: 46

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores: 45

The Children’s PlaceUp to 45

Z Gallerie: 44

DKNY: 41

Stage Stores: 40 to 60

Bed Bath & Beyond: 40

Abercrombie & Fitch: 40

Francesca’s: At least 30 stores

Build-A-Bear: Up to 30 over two years

Williams-Sonoma: 30

J.C. Penney27

Bath & Body Works24

Southeastern Grocers: 22

Saks Off 5th: 20


  1. Crew: 20

Barneys New York: 15

Macy’s: 8

Nordstrom: 7

Target: 6

J.Crew: 5

Kohl’s: 4

Whole Foods: 1

Calvin Klein: 1

Pottery Barn: 1

Source: Coresight Research; staff research

Pier 1 Imports store closings: Retailer plans to close 57 stores, and more closures could be coming, interim CEO says