retail stores closedYour next shopping trip may not be as convenient as it used to be. The second quarter earnings season brought news from several major retailers that they will be shutting down stores. Both Saks (SKS) and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) said they were closing stores in several parts of the country. Meanwhile, other stores like the struggling Blockbuster video rental chain, continue to slash stores by the dozens. American Apparel (APP), which is close to defaulting on its loans, just may be next.

Consumers just aren't shopping the way they used to. Even Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), which typically fares well during tough economic times, is worried. "The slow economic recovery will continue to affect our customers, and we expect they will remain cautious about spending," said president and CEO Mike Duke in a statement that was released during the company's second quarter earnings report.

With the prospects for economic recovery iffy at best and consumer spending still moving at a snail's pace, it's little wonder that retailers are sussing out their weakest stores and closing them in order to protect profits. Retailers say they are positioning themselves to play where they can be strongest and avoid burning resources in places that won't produce the results they want. Here are some of the biggest store closings of late.

Saks Fifth AvenueSaks

No. of Stores Closing: 5

The lux department store company plans to close two Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Plano, Texas, and Mission Viejo, Calif. That's in addition to stores in San Diego, Portland, Ore., and Charleston, S.C., that Saks closed a month earlier. CEO Steve Sadove said there may be more store closings to come this year.

Meanwhile, Saks is opening more of its discount Off 5th outlets in suburban Portland, Ore., Cypress, Texas, and Mebane, N.C. Sadove told analysts in a conference call that after two years on the defensive, the company has begun making investments in areas that will have the biggest impact on the bottom line.

French ConnectionFrench Connection

No. of Stores Closing: 17

The clothing company with the edgy "FCUK" ads closed all but six of its U.S. stores as part of a reorganization. It says it will focus on selling its clothes at department stores. It also closed all 21 of its stores in Japan and sold its Nicole Farhi apparel line. After a very difficult 2009, the restructuring plan was necessary in order for the company to return to profitability, CEO Steve Marks told investors.


No. of Stores Closing: 25

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (GAP) said it will close 25 grocery stores across five states by the end of the third quarter as part of a turnaround strategy. The stores were chosen based on their performance, proximity to other company stores and issues with cost or real estate.

New CEO Sam Martin, who joined in July, said the company would try to place displaced employees in other positions, if possible. The company operates stores in eight U.S. states under the following retail names: A&P, Waldbaum's, The Food Emporium, Super Fresh, Pathmark and Food Basics.

American Eagle OutfittersAmerican Eagle Outfitters

No. of Stores Closing: 28

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) followed Abercrombie & Fitch into the adult market with its Martin + Osa chain, but just like Abercrombie's Ruehl, it didn't work out. American Eagle announced in the spring that the 28 M+O stores and the online business would shut down. The parent company said it is going to focus on its more youthful brands aimed at the under-25 crowd, including its American Eagle, Aerie and 77kids chains.

Win Dixie
Winn-Dixie Stores

No. of Stores Closing: 30

Great Atlantic A&P isn't the only supermarket chain reducing its store count. Winn-Dixie Stores (WINN) announced in late July that it will close 30 older and under-performing stores by Sept. 22. The stores are located across five southern states, but more than half are in the company's home state of Florida. Management of the supermarket chain said it expects sales to deteriorate in the fourth quarter, but it's moving forward with plans to renovate other stores.

Kim KardashianBebe Stores

No. of Stores Closing: 48

Having Kim Kardashian as fashion muse didn't help lift sales at PH8, a sportswear offshoot of Bebe Stores (BEBE), which had hired the reality star as a designer. The women's apparel chain announced in July that it would shutter all 48 PH8 stores after a year of flagging sales. Bebe plans to focus on its flagship Bebe brand and on expanding 2b Bebe, its discount chain. The company said it may convert some of the PH8 locations to 2b Bebe stores.

Men's WearhouseMen's Wearhouse

No. of Stores Closing: 50-60

The men's apparel chain is faced with cannibalizing its own customer base. After Men's Wearhouse (MW) acquired the After Hours chain three years ago, it has been expanding its formal wear offerings at its mainline stores, as well as launching Men's Wearhouse and Tux stores. CEO George Zimmer told analysts that the company now plans to close 50 to 60 of the Tux stores this year in an effort to recapture most of the traffic at the company's other stores. In an earlier call with analysts, Zimmer had said the company could close over 100 of the tuxedo stores because the customers were already shopping at nearby Men's Wearhouse locations.

AbercrombieAbercrombie & Fitch

No. of Stores Closing: Up to 110

CEO Mike Jeffries told analysts that he feels comfortable with the look and merchandise at the company's stores, but the performance in some domestic locations is still falling short. Abercrombie & Fitch will close nearly 60 under-performing stores in 2010, most of them towards the end of the year. In a recent conference call, CFO Jonathan Ramsden said another 50 stores could close in 2011. The company already closed 11 stores during the first half of the year, mainly at its flagship Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie stores.

But the company isn't cutting back on everything. It has been focusing on expanding its Hollister locations domestically and launching its flagship brand in markets overseas.

Lane BryantCharming Shoppes

No. of Stores Closing: 100 to 120

Charming Shoppes (CHRS), the parent of apparel stores Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug, plans to close 100 to 120 stores this fiscal year. After announcing a rough end to 2009, management said it planned to reduce its real estate costs by renegotiating with its landlords. As part of those initiatives, CFO Eric Specter said the company has begun reviewing its lineup of stores, looking for locations that are under-performing and will close those where it can't get better lease terms.


No. of Stores Closing: 500-545

Under assault by video-on-demand and online video rentals, Blockbuster (BLOKA) announced earlier this year that it plans to close 500 to 545 stores in 2010. That's in addition to the 374 it closed last year.

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December 29 2011 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many people have said many valid things and I know that they're some effect. Because things can't happen in this country that we don't experience some backlash, be it bad government, bad decisions or just plain bad planning! We need to get back to "fixing ourselves", even if the government won't. We are AMERICANS and we must always remember that no matter how we are admired or hated, We matter! How many countries can say the same, really? We will come out of this and we WILL prevail, and despite the fact that we are a Christian country, we must remember that as Christians, we must tolerate all who live under this umbrella. Let's face it, who has the glory and the decency to allow whatever we have had to put up with all these years but the Christian ethic. No other faith allows any give on this, but we can ALL find a common ground. We may not agree with our lawmakers, but they are not going to be in power forever. Nor is Mr. Obama. Not is any other individual who presumes to think that they know what is best for America, but the people have the power to change. And we will change EVERTHING. Christian, Muslim, Jew or whatever you believe. It's going to change eventually and AMERICA will still be the greatest nation in the WORLD!

October 12 2010 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Retroharvey65's comment

I AGREE WITH YOU 100 PERCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 29 2011 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Barry Os destuction of the USA continues! He is still trying to keep up with his buddy comrad Chavez!

September 11 2010 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not one of these crappy stores will be missed. Especially Blockbuster and A&F. Blockbuster was too stupid to see the future and A&F sell crappy clothes you could purchase at a used clothing store or swap meet. I would like to see more of the chain restuarants that sell boil in a bag food close. We have tolerated medicore businesses for too long.

September 01 2010 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stores closing and laying off employees who will go on unemployment. They will still be able to buy basics but no longer able to buy luxery items. This means still more people out of work who will have to cut back on spending... All this will cause more stores to close. In the mean time Wal Mart is raising prices to offset losses in sales making it harder for unemloyeed to buy even the basics. Looks like we are headed down even further. Homes are still being foreclosed at a record rate. Social Security is not giving cost of living increases and is now paying out more than they are taking in. In the mean time our present government is spending as though money grows on trees. Looks like things are going to get a lot worse before any real improvement. Locally I am seeing more empty former retail buildings with for lease signs in the windows. Small businesses are closing as well as the big chains.

August 23 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


August 23 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Deb Hornstra

I read that we have SIX TIMES as much retail space per person as in Western Europe. Surely we don't need all that. I do feel sorry for the poor folks getting laid off from their crappy retail jobs. We need a solution for them, but we simply don't need the number of stores we've got in this country, never did. Can't we retrain cashiers and stock people to do some work that needs doing? There's plenty of that!

August 23 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Deb Hornstra's comment

You are so correct here. We never did need so many duplications of the same stores, be they grocery, retail, car dealers, banks, gas stations., etc. Sure it set up competition, but somehow the capitalists figured a way to fix prices which were high enough to make a good profit but overvalued everything.

August 23 2010 at 8:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The retailers here are laying off emploee's like crazy, there for customer service is the pitts, most folks go where they can get quality help when needed, so natch the sales are down at say even Walmart, one of the worst. I would pay a little more somewhere else, than listen to disgruntled overworked staff, that really have no time for customers

August 23 2010 at 12:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to barb's comment

PLEASE, do not apply for a job as a writter or proof-reader!

December 25 2010 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brugos Pizza

Our government must be so proud of themselves as they watch and do nothing about the country sinking into the great abyss. Do you really think for one moment any American wanted this for one second? These politicians promised prosperity and we foolishly and to our demise believed them. And if we had a President that was strong and wanted our country to improve, it would. You can say it's just not his fault, but a strong leader would make the others follow in the direction that is best for the people, and not toward utter and eminent destruction of a nation which is apparently the path we are on with him at the helm. In November, we must give others a shot to lead even though again it will be a risk. Save our country, vote.

August 23 2010 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brugos Pizza's comment

Voting does nothing, NOTHING. The game is rigged, the politicians are just government puppets. Open your eyes! We are all being deceived!

August 24 2010 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi Millionaires

When you have multi-stores for each retailer, you have multi-dismissals of employees. When you have multi-dismissals of employees, you have unemployment, bankruptcies, foreclosures and more stores going out of business due to the downfall. It is the "10th Monkey Syndrone" and it influences everyone around them,. But, our President is on his 6th vacation that you basically pay for! We spend time blaming rather than acceptant that one influences two influences 4 and doing the same over and over is insanity. I have never seen this in my lifetime but I am seeing it now. issues, solutions, resolutions, patterns, outcomes. Are you happy with what is going on? VOTE IN NOVEMBER NO MATTER HOW YOU VOTE AND REMEMBER, THERE ARE PEOPLE BEING PUT ON THE BALLOT WHO ARE NOT IN THE TEA PARTY BUT D. PUTTING THEM ON TO SCVRAMBLE THE VOTE SO WE HAVE MORE OF THE SAME AND SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE. PLEASE VOTE IN NOVEMBER. A NO VOTE OR NO SHOW VOTE IS A VOTE. THANK YOU. It is not parties any longer. It is

August 23 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hi Millionaires's comment

This is what happens when you put profit over people.

August 23 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply