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 4,972and the number of store openings is 2,919.
  • Sears Holdings has filed for bankruptcy protection and will close 142 stores by the year end.
  • YTD in the UK, there have been 1,314 store closure announcements and 777 store opening announcements.
  • Claire’s denied reports this week that it was considering closing some of its 350 UK stores.

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 4,972 and the number of store openings is 2,919.

What Is Happening this Week in the US? 

Sears Files for Bankruptcy, Will Close 142 Stores

Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 15. As part of the restructuring, the company will close 142 stores by the year end, this is in addition to 46 previously announced closures. Sears CEO Edward Lampert has stepped down from his role as CEO but remains as Chairman. Mohsin Y. Meghji, Managing Partner of M-III Partners, has been appointed as Chief Restructuring Officer. Sears and Kmart stores and their websites will remain open. Lampert said, “As we look toward the holiday season, Sears and Kmart stores remain open for business and our dedicated associates look forward to serving our members and customers.”

Ross Stores Open 40 New Stores

Ross Stores announced on October 15 that it has completed its store growth plans for 2018 with the opening of 40 new stores including 30 Ross Dress for Less and 10 dd’s Discounts stores in 19 states in September and October. These bring the total store openings to 99 for this fiscal year. Jim Fassio, President and Chief Development Officer said, “We now operate nearly 1,500 Ross and over 230 dd’s Discounts locations. Looking ahead, we continue to believe there is plenty of opportunity to further expand our store base for both chains given consumers’ ongoing focus on value. As such, we recently updated our longer-term growth store potential to reflect our confidence that Ross can grow to 2,400 locations and dd’s can become a chain of 600 stores.” 

Non-StoreClosure News

Walmart Acquires Online Lingerie Retailer Bare Necessities

Walmart is expanding it US e-commerce portfolio with the recently announced acquisition of lingerie and swimwear online retailer Bare Necessities. Walmart has not disclosed the deal value. The lingerie company will continue to operate its site independently as of now and its products will be made available on Walmart and Jet.com over time. Walmart also announced the acquisition of women’s plus-size clothing brand Eloquii earlier this month in October. Along with acquisitions, Walmart also launched a clothing line called EV1 with Ellen DeGeneres in September and Lord & Taylor premium brands last year. 

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 1,314 store closure announcements and 777 store opening announcements. 

What Is Happening this Week in the UK?

Claire’s Mulls UK Store Closures

The accessories chain Claire’s was this week reported to be considering closing some of its 350 UK stores. The company is believed to be calling in advisers to assist with a potential company voluntary arrangement (CVA), according to the Press Association. Last week, the chain’s US parent company announced it had emerged from Chapter 11 protection after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year. Claire’s CEO Ron Marshall said that it had no plans for either a CVA or major store closures in the UK in the foreseeable future.

Coast Set to Close 24 Stores

Women’s fashion chain Coast has gone into administration and is set to close 24 of its stores in the UK including its Oxford Street store in London. British retail company Karen Millen has bought Coast’s website and department store concessions. Coast’s 24 UK stores and international outlets were not included in the transaction. Mike Denny, joint administrator and PwC Director said, “The businesses had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasion-wear.” Coast had numerous concessions in House of Fraser which owed millions to the fashion chain after its collapse. 

American Golf to Close 20 Stores

American Golf entered administration on October 12 and was bought by private equity investor Endless, saving 112 of the company’s 132 stores in the UK and Ireland. A total of 20 stores will close as part of the deal. Endless partner Tom Jack said, “American Golf holds a unique position as the UK’s golf market leader and has been providing specialist expertise to its loyal customer base for over 45 years.” 

Shop Direct to Close Seven Stores

Shop Direct announced that it will close seven of its The Outlet stores across the UK under a proposal to close its Littlewood Clearance business by the end of February 2019. Along with the stores, the company also plans to shut its Bargain Crazy website, Bolton-based fulfilment centre and head-team office. Sam Perkins, Group Retail Director of the company said, “While it has been successful in clearing unsold stock for many years, our standalone operation Littlewoods Clearance is expensive to run and is losing money. Aware of this, and the need to continue our digital transformation, which has seen us remove the catalogue and consolidate brands in recent years, we reviewed alternative options for clearance.” We have revised the total store closures in our chart according to calendar year 2018. 

WHSmith to Close Six Stores and 24 Cardmarket Outlets

British stationery retailer announced that it will close six WH Smith stores over the next three years. The retailer will also wind down operations of its online marketplace Cardmarket closing around 24 stores and WHSmith Local, which runs as concessions. The company reported that it operates 607 high street shops after closing six stores during its fiscal year ended August 31. We have revised the total store closures in our chart according to calendar year 2018. 

Footasylum Plans to Open Five New Stores

The athletic-wear retailer Footasylum announced plans to open five new stores by the end of the second-half ending February 2019. The retailer opened one new store in the first-half period ending August 25, bringing the total number of stores to 66. The company said that from fiscal year 2020, it will scale back its targeted store expansion programme to two new stores and two upsizes per annum. We have revised the total store openings in our chart according to calendar year 2018. 

Non-Store-Closure News

FatFace Appoints Oasis and Warehouse CEO Liz Evans as New CEO

Oasis and Warehouse CEO Liz Evans is departing from her role in current company to join as the CEO at FatFace. She will join FatFace in 2019 after nearly a decade of service at her previous company, replacing Anthony Thompson. Oasis and Warehouse COO Hash Ladha will assume Evans’s role as the CEO of the company. 

2017 Major UK Store Openings and Closures


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