KEY POINTS

Coresight Research tracks store openings and closures for a select group of retailers in the US and the UK, as well as major US store bankruptcies.

  • Year-to-date (YTD) 2018, the number of US store closure announcements stands at 4,612 and the number of store openings is 2,639.
  • Walmart has acquired women’s plus-size retailer Eloquii for an undisclosed sum. 
  • Kroger will test online order pickup at 13 Walgreens stores.
  • YTD in the UK, there have been 1,261 store closure announcements and 766 store opening announcements.
  • Aldi plans to open 130 stores over the next two years and 1,200 stores by 2025. 

Coresight Research tracks news about store closures and openings, bankruptcies and management changes. Our Weekly Store Openings and Closures Tracker focuses on department stores and specialty retail, including, but not limited to, softlines, hardlines, consumer electronics, grocery and furniture.

2018 Major US Store Openings and Closures

YTD 2018, the number of US store closure announcements stands at 4,612 and the number of store openings is 2,639.

What Is Happening This Week in the US? 

No major retailers reported store openings and closures this week.

Non-Store-Closure News

Walmart Acquires Eloquii for Undisclosed Amount

Walmart announced on October 2 that it has acquired plus-size online retailer Eloquii. The company said the deal is expected to close later this quarter. Walmart has not confirmed the deal value, but it is expected to pay $100 million for the acquisition according to Recode. Since the acquisition of e-commerce company Jet.com in 2016, Walmart has been building up its collection of online labels. The plus-size market is of interest to Walmart considering that it is one of the fastest growing segments of women’s apparel. American shoppers spent $21.4 billion on women’s plus-size clothing in 2016, according to The NPD Group. An average American woman wears a size 16–18 which is why retailers are looking for ways to tap into the plus-size market.

Kroger and Walgreens Partner to Pilot New Store Format

Supermarket chain Kroger announced on October 2 that it is partnering with Walgreens to test online order pickup at 13 Walgreens stores in Northern Kentucky located near Kroger’s Cincinnati headquarters. The companies will conduct this pilot over the next few months and will closely track customer feedback. Kroger’s private label Our Brands will be available at the participating Walgreens locations. Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said that “This concept brings together the best of two great brands to rethink convenience and redefine the way America shops for food.”

Timberland to Open Seven Flex Stores 

The VF Corporation-owned outdoor wear brand Timberland will open seven flex retail stores including a Fifth Avenue flex shop this year. The new 3,500-square-foot Fifth Avenue store will feature two experiential or Instagram friendly spaces. The retailer first opened its “flex retail” pop-up concept during the peak Timberland season last year from October through January. These temporary stores are smaller than Timberland’s stores and the company operates 65–70 stores throughout the US. Timberland’s Global Brand President Jim Pisani said that “Flex gives us the ability to learn quickly and apply those learnings to our entire store fleet in an efficient way,” and that “It gives us the opportunity to present Timberland’s heritage in a modern way.”

JCPenney Taps Jo-Ann Stores President and CEO Jill Soltau as New CEO 

JCPenney announced the appointment of Jill Soltau as CEO and member of the company’s board of directors, effective October 15, 2018. Soltau will succeed Marvin Ellison who resigned in May 2018. Soltau has over 30 years of experience and her most recent stint was as President and CEO of crafts and fabrics retailer Jo-Ann Stores which she joined in 2015.

Year-to-Date 2018 Major US Store Bankruptcies

2017 Major US Store Openings and Closures

2017 Major US Store Bankruptcies

2018 Major UK Store Openings and Closures

YTD in the UK, there have been 1,261 store closure announcements and 766 store opening announcements.

What Is Happening This Week in the UK?

Aldi Plans to Open 130 New Stores

German discount supermarket chain Aldi announced plans to expand in the UK by opening 130 stores between 2019 and 2020 and to expand to 1,200 stores by 2025. The grocery retailer disclosed that its sales in the UK and Ireland rose to £10.2 billion ($13.2 billion) in 2017. Giles Hurley, Chief Executive of Aldi UK & Ireland, said that the company will reach the target it had set last year of opening 1,000 stores by 2022, and that “The store openings will slow very slightly but we should still be opening 50 plus stores each year.” Hurley said that Aldi was on track to open 70 UK stores in 2018.

Non-Store-Closure News

Inverleith Acquires Planet Organic

Health-food chain Planet Organic has been acquired by Scottish private equity firm Inverleith for £15 million ($19 million) as reported by The Telegraph. Inverleith announced plans to double Planet Organic’s London stores in the next five years, bringing the total up from seven to 14. Planet Organic Chief Executive Peter Marsh said that “The last store we opened was on Tottenham Court Road in 2015, and the ability to now look at opening three or four new sites a year is really exciting.”

Chanel Buys Orlebar Brown

French luxury brand Chanel has acquired British men’s swimwear brand Orlebar Brown for an undisclosed amount. This marks Chanel’s move to buy small, niche fashion companies specializing in certain product categories. The luxury brand also owns Eres, a women’s beach and lingerie brand. Chanel released its annual report earlier this year in June for the first time stating that it has moved its headquarters in London to bring all of its business under one roof.

2017 Major UK Store Openings and Closures


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