Retail has been, to state the obvious, a hard topic to avoid in distressed circles. In “Thanos Snaps, Retail Disappears” — one of our most-read a$$-kicking briefings to date (PETITION Note: you’re all bigger nerds than we thought) — we delineated a long list of retailers that were liquidating and/or closing stores, making 2019 a pretty brutal year thus far for the industry.*
The brutality ensues.
In the mere 4 weeks since we wrote that post, more and more retailers have reported downsizing efforts. Even — shocker! — Sears! Sears has closed at least four stores in the last few weeks — including, notably, its “store of the future” concept in Oak Brook Illinois. Per Business Insider:
The failure of the store, which was viewed as a prototype for future Sears locations, casts considerable doubt over the company's recovery post-bankruptcy, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.
"It underlines the fact that Sears does not have a credible plan for its long-term survival," Saunders said. "Making stores a bit nicer and reducing space are sensible steps, but they do not represent a holistic solution."
DAMN IT. We had drafted Sears #1 in our Fantasy Retail Survival All-Star Draft! There goes another season down the drain.
Elsewhere, JD Sports Fashion Plc, the company behind Finish Line in the United States, reported strong numbers, in part, behind its Finish Line segment; nevertheless, it shuttered 23 locations and 26 in-store spaces located within Macy’s Inc. ($M) stores in the last year. Office Depot Inc. ($ODP) is closing 50 stores under is OfficeMax banner. Francesca’s Holding Corp. ($FRAN) is in the midst of an attempted turnaround and store closures are coming: the company just hasn’t indicated how many yet. Famous Footwear ($CAL) is closing a net 30 stores. The Vitamin Shoppe Inc. ($VSI)indicated that it’ll close somewhere between 50-70 stores (net). G-III Apparel Group Ltd. ($GIII), the company behind washed up…uh…”ICONIC” brands like DKNY and Karl Lagerfeld reported 43 stores closures this year. Destination Maternity Corporation ($DEST) reported 116 closures in fiscal 2018 (31 store closures and 85 leased departments) and an aim towards 42-67 additional store closures in fiscal 2019. And Vera Bradley Inc. ($VRA) intends to close 10 stores this year and 20 more next year.
In total, the picture just gets uglier and uglier:
WANT TO SEE WHAT WE SAID? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR KICK@$$ NEWSLETTER HERE.