Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Payless, Gymboree and Victoria's Secret are just some of the brands closing stores in 2019 - USA TODAY

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The discount shoe retailer Payless ShoeSource is set to close all of its stores when its files for bankruptcy later this month. Veuer's Mercer Morrison has the story. Buzz60

This year is already on track to be a big one for store closings.

Based on figures from global marketing research firm Coresight Research, bankruptcy filings and company earnings reports, nearly 5,500 stores are already slatedto be shuttered.

Payless ShoeSource accounts for the largest number of closings with 2,590 stores, which are holding liquidation sales. Some stores will close by the end of March, with other locations staying open through the end of May, the company said.

In 2018, Coresight tracked 5,528 closings, which included all Toys R Us locations, plus hundreds of Mattress Firm stores, Kmart and Sears locations, and Brookstone's remaining mall stores.

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

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The first quarter of the year is historically the busiest for closings announcements, said Drew Myers, senior consultant with real-estate data firm CoStar Group, which looks at the size of stores when analyzing closings.

Square footage is a “really good gauge on the health of the retail market from a real estate standpoint,” Myers said. When square footage is taken into account, 2018 marks the top year for closings, with 155 million square feet of affected retail space.

“When you think about 2018, about 75 percent of that square footage announced for closures comes from Sears, Kmart, Toys R Us and Bon Ton,” he said.

Nine weeks into this year, 30 million square feet in closings has already been announced, CoStar's data shows, a far cry from 2018. The difference in this year's closings so far is fewer big box stores and more smaller chains affected, Myers said.

“These are retailers that may certainly lead us to a higher number of closings overall," he said, "but in terms of the square footage of the retail market they may not move the needle that much."

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The closings

Some of the announced closures may carryover into 2020, which was the case with several closings announced in late 2018 such as Lowe's, Sears and Kmart. Gap Inc. announced Feb. 28 it would close roughly 230 stores over two years. 

Payless ShoeSource: 2,589 (includes 248 Canada locations and 114 smaller-format stores in Shopko Hometown locations)

Gymboree/Crazy 8: 749

Things Remembered: 422

Ascena Retail: 400

Shopko: 251

GNC: 233

Gap: Roughly 230 in next two years

Tesla: More than 200 locations worldwide, around 80 in the U.S.

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

Destination Maternity: 117

Charlotte Russe: 94

Chico's: 83

Sears: 72 

Victoria's Secret: 53

Vera Bradley: 50

Kmart: 48

J.C. Penney: 27

Henri Bendel: All 23 stores

Southeastern Grocers: 22

E.L.F. Beauty: All 22 stores

Saks Off 5th: 20

Lowe's: 20

Macy's: 8

Target: 6

J.Crew: 5

Kohl's: 4

Nordstrom: 3

Whole Foods: 1

Calvin Klein: 1

Pottery Barn: 1

Williams-Sonoma: 1

Source: Coresight Research; staff research

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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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