Best BuyFor many U.S. retailers, the sales situation is so bad that it is not a question of whether they will cut stores, but when and how many.

After years in an unsteady economic climate, being battered by e-commerce on one hand and more effective bricks-and-mortar competitors on the other, these chains need the relief that shrinking can provide.

But widespread store closings don't always portend the end for a chain. For example, Gap (GPS) announced in 2011 it would shutter 21% of its U.S. store base. It has since transformed itself into a much more successful clothing retailer. As a company completes the process of downsizing, its store operations likely will become even more efficient and its margins greater.

Whether it saves them or not, only time will tell. But these are the eight retailers that will close the most stores in 2013.

Methodology: 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the weakest large U.S. retailers and picked those that likely will not be profitable next year if they keep their current location counts. 24/7 analyzed the retailers' store counts, recent financial data, online presences, prospects against direct competitors and precedents set by other large retailers that have downsized by shuttering locations. We then forecast how many stores each retailer will have to close this year to sharply increase its prospects financially, even if some of those location closings do not occur for several years. These forecasts were based on drops in same-store sales, drops in revenue, a review of direct competitors, Internet sales and the size of cuts at retailers in the same sector, if those were available.

-- Douglas A. McIntyre, Samuel Weigley, Alexander E.M. Hess, Michael B. Sauter

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February 01 2013 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sophie's comment
Helen loves God

Ok whats the secret? We all need to be making some money. Could you share some more?

February 06 2013 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I want to comment about an experience I had with a Sears store at our local mall. My vehicle was vandalized on a Saturday afternoon in broad daylight while parked on the J.C.Penney lot at the mall. I went into Penneys to ask them to call mall security to report the incident. Security told me they were aware of the vandalism and called the police to file a report. Security and the police left and I was left with a broken window and car seats covered with glass. I went into the Sears store to try to buy a hand-vac to vacuum up the glass so I could drive home. Two employees working in Sears opened up a new hand-vac off the shelf and they both came out to my car which was at the opposite end of the lot from Sears and completely vacuumed out my entire car so that I could drive home. They were so gracious and helpful to me. I go out of my way to shop at Sears. God bless these two great guys.

February 01 2013 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve Kanusher

I still believe ion the retail experience. I am not a dinosaur , I know a true and consistent (show) retail experience in whatever form that connects with the consumer , will keep the consumer coming back for encore presentations. It's people of experience and personality that have been put on the retailers back burner and the nickle and diming of experienced professionals taken for granted for selling , training, and leading by example, and being replaced by young professionals with no definitive feel for their industry but with corporate training policies and procedures replacing the truer joy of selling , learning the selling angles and selling tools, not just being book fed and good for only 3-6 years and then they possibly find another industry because they couldn't be all that they were capable of being because of corporate structure, or maybe we'll call them strictures..grrr

February 01 2013 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Quite frankly, I hope that Best Buy does close some, if not all of its stores, starting with the one closest to me. Best Buy has no one to blame but themselves for being in this situation. The customer service in several of their stores is TERRIBLE! It is TERRIBLE to the point that I have called and complained to their national customer service department. During the holiday season, they had a great offer for iTunes gift cards. They were 20% off. I went to the store, confirmed they were offering the discount, and waited in the HUGE line to get the gift cards, along with about 50 other people. No one bothered to tell us until we had finally arrived at a register that NONE of the apple gift cards could be activated. The manager was not concerned and he refused to offer any solutions or even a rain check. In the fall, I purchased software online. There was a problem with it and I tried to return it to the store. They would not take it back. I wanted to exchange it for the same product and I had a receipt. Because I opened it (which is how I learned there was a problem with it), it was not returnable. I contacted Microsoft instead who took care of the problem without any hassle. Customer service can go a long way and when a company lacks it or just plain does not care, then they deserve to lose customers.

January 31 2013 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Price of Technology continues to decline in cost. So I'm not surprised Radio Shack, Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max, and GameStop are having problems. They pay a high price for their inventory, and, because the price of technology falls faster than the product sells, the lose money on their sales. Barnes & Noble is competing with Kindle Books and Amazon. And JC Penny is just plain old poor management. They lost customers when they got rid of good, old fashion sales with lots of POS, coupons, and excitement of finding something on sale. The CEO does not know how women shop, nor, at this late stage in the game, will he ever will. JC Penny needs to hire a woman CEO as his replacement.

January 31 2013 at 8:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Is sad to see that once great Companies are going down,but if you investigate the reasons,it is always because big mistakes were made by managment....of course,many other reason are also present,but at the end of the day,it is because they have lost their competetive edge.....Unfortunately USA is going in the same path

January 31 2013 at 8:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Barnes and Noble missed licensing the technology that would allow all E-Books to use the same technology and devices. The buyers on Nook will be the Betamax owners of the future.

January 31 2013 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WHY HELL YES -- Americans should know by now that all his payoffs to the \"cronies, unions, ass kissers and
other f***ing hangers on MUST BE PAID FIRST ! Then, if there\'s enough left, some \"poor-fools\" may get a
dime or two !

However, the people of Chicago and the illegals got his liberal ass re-elected, SO LIVE WITH IT YOU BUNCHOF IGNORANT \"**** FOR BRAINS \" Idiots !!!

January 31 2013 at 11:59 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

Didn't I read this same story in 2012?

January 31 2013 at 3:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only reason they did not close them ealier is because they had Hoped Obama would be taken out of Office and they would have a chance to rebound saving millions of jobs..Welcome to Obama\'s Economy..By the way another dead person who recently had contact in Obama\'s presence has died..How many does that make now ?? i lost count..Obama The Reaper should be his name.. Hadiya Pendleton Dead: Chicago Teen Who Performed At Inaugural Events Fatally Shot

January 31 2013 at 3:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bud's comment

Why is it that when people rant about Obama and job loss they fail to recognize that the job cuts began during the Bush admin? And many of those jobs were lost due to automation and the internet. Not a personal vendetta by the President.

January 31 2013 at 7:06 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bdgrizcp's comment

This reply is to partyof.omg. When Obama took office, he inherited 2 wars that had been going on for 10 years, the economy on the verge of collapse, the financial market on the verge of collapse, and we expect him to clean up this mess in 4 years? Just think back when Bush was still in office, and be honest, what was your thoughts then?

January 31 2013 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Sean Yamazaki

^ Yeah, and since Obama took office, he has not only continued Bush's wartime policies, but expanded upon them; justifying the assassination of American citizens, illegal surveillance of the American people, and furthered the erosion of our civil rights.

The financial system was near collapse...pft, many of the banks bailed out were simply too big to fail and were essentially made immune to all the financial crimes that put this country near that "financial collapse".

Obamabots need to get a clue, your dear leader is every bit as bad as Bush. And what's worse is, because he's not Bush you can'tr see it!

February 16 2013 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down