Major Retail Chain Stores Closing

retail stores closing due to covid pandemic

Major Retail Chain Stores Are Closing Locations around the country in record numbers.

Every business owner knows that everything can change on a dime, regardless of how big the brand is.

Over the past few years, online shopping and other factors have had a huge impact on how companies with brick-and-mortar stores operate. Some stores have flourished, while others have struggled to stay afloat. Retail Chain stores closing in record numbers.

The Covid pandemic created by government, with fake new updates flying in every single minute, is wreaking havoc on small and large businesses. As many retail stores are closing in 2020, entrepreneurs are uncertain of what steps to take to manage risks, support customers, protect employees and maintain the cash flow into 2021.

A number of small as well as large businesses have already observed a major drop in sales because of the COVID-19 pandemic and another report says many will be pushed to limits if the emergency keeps on developing. 

As we move into 2022, we’ve had to say goodbye to some long-standing companies that simply aren’t making the same money that they once used to and the biggest reason is government’s Covid Hoax.

By evoking fear into people, the government has created job loss and Retail Chain store closings to destroy the middle class.

The Covid pandemic created by government, with fake new updates flying in every single minute, is wreaking havoc on small and large businesses. As many retail stores are closing in 2020, entrepreneurs are uncertain of what steps to take to manage risks, support customers, protect employees and maintain the cash flow into 2021.

Profitability for big names like Home Depot or Bed, Bath & Beyond is no longer an exact science, with marketing strategies and expansion plans falling flat. 

Some big brand name stores are choosing to file for bankruptcy in a desperate attempt to recover, while others are closing multiple locations in a bid to minimize their losses. Meanwhile, multiple companies are all out of options, with no choice but to close their doors forever.

When companies close their doors, employees lose jobs and when employees lose jobs, there is less spending, which adds to the problem – thanks to “government.”

Retail Chain stores closing

Macy’s

Year Established: 1858
Store Closures: 125 Branches* (Over the next 3 years)

A longtime hallmark of just about every mall in America, Macy’s department store closed 28 stores in 2020 alone. While more are on the way, loyal Macy’s customers can relax, at least for now. Chances are your local store isn’t going anywhere – the company will be closing roughly 125 stores over the course of the next three years.

These 125 closures come on the heels of Macy’s decision to shutter nearly 100 total locations nationwide over the last few years. This represents almost 15% of Macy’s total physical presence in America (the brand currently operates an estimated 690 of its signature department stores.)

Starbucks

Year Established: 1971
Store Closures:
 400 Branches

It’s been a tough time for the retail industry, but the hospitality sector has also taken a hard knock. Starbucks has been around since 1971, providing coffee lovers across the world with their daily cup of Java, but even this titan hasn’t come out of 2021 unscathed. 

The popular chain announced closures of over 400 stores in the US and Canada as it turns its focus to pick-up only locations. Starbucks said that despite this, it was still hopeful that this move would “enhance the customer experience” and “enable profitable growth for the future.” 

Bed Bath & Beyond

Year Established: 1971
Store Closures: 43 Branches

Though Bed Bath & Beyond will be closing roughly 40 stores (less than four percent of its total stores worldwide) by the end of 2022, many market insiders predict that this may be the first few drops of a potential waterfall of closings within the next several years.

CNBC reported that Bed Bath & Beyond was trying to “save itself from extinction.” Business Insider was a little less optimistic, declaring that the “iconic brand” was experiencing a “rise and fall.” The company’s bonds have been straddling the border of junk debt for a while, trading at 73 cents on the dollar in December of 2019. 

DSW

Year Established: 1969
Store Closures: 65 stores over the next four years

Designer Brands, also known as DSW, found it particularly hard to come out of 2020 unscathed. The business reported a 36% drop in sales thanks to temporary store closures, and like many, needs to find a way to recoup its losses. 

Over the next four years, the business plans to close 65 different stores. That may come as a shock to long-standing lovers of the clothing retailer, but it’s just one of many fashion houses looking to scrape some money back from a disastrous period. 

Walgreens

Year Established: 1901
Store Closures:
 200 Branches

Walgreens may be a surprising name to see on the list, as they seem to be everywhere in some cities in America. Nevertheless, they certainly have their competition cut out for them, with CVS and other big names dominating the drugstore industry.

Now, the pharmacy stores are closing off an even 200 stores, hoping to continue turning a profit in their other locations. Walgreens has continued to lose money, and Fox Business pointed out some shocking specs on the company’s failure. The company, owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance, lost $1.7 billion during three months in 2020. In 2021, the chain closed a further 17 locations in the San Francisco area, citing shoplifting. 

The Gap

Year Established: 1969
Store Closures: 
136 branches

In addition to as many as 350 store closures worldwide leading up to 2024, The Gap has had a massive restructuring and rebranding happening in an effort to stay ahead of the competition and reduce overhead.

With more than 2,300 domestic locations, former CEO Art Peck predicts that more than 50% of all The Gap’s locations could be closing in the coming years as part of this shift. Overseas customers have already seen many Gap stores shuttering in recent years, with especially large cutbacks in Israel and Australia.

Urban Outfitters

Year Established: 1970 
Store Closures:
 TBD

In the first quarter of 2020, Urban Outfitters’ stock dropped a whopping 32%. The store’s fate has only worsened in the months since, and one Barrons.com stock analyst said to sell the stock in July of 2020. In-store sales have dropped significantly.

Urban Outfitters has done better on digital sales however, seeing a 76% rise in new digital customers in the second quarter of 2020. However, though digital sales are still sales, retail locations continued to under-perform well into 2021. Urban Outfitters has been around since 1970 infiltrating “trendy” niche in the retail sector. However, it takes more than just a niche to keep a business surviving and thriving. There could be tougher times ahead.

The Children’s Place

Year Established: 1969
Store Closures: 122 branches

The Children’s Place has been a go-to store for many parents and families for over 50 years, but the company has faced a tough time of it. Even before 2020 profits were starting to fall, so it’s hardly surprising that some big changes were announced in March of 2021. 

The company decided the best course of action is to close 122 locations by the end of the year, on top of the 178 other locations that were closed in 2020. It’s a devastating blow to employees, but executives hope it will give the brand what it needs to be able to trade another day. 

CVS

Year Established: 1963
Store Closures: 200 Branches

While CVS (and its CVS/Pharmacy brand) has managed better than most to adapt to consumers’ online delivery needs, the company still faces an existential conundrum given its massive presence of nearly 10,000 stores nationwide. This mighty real estate investment in the face of dwindling walk-in customers has forced the company to both innovate and selectively cut back.

As a result, this year CVS plans to shutter at least 200 underperforming stores nationwide by the end of 2022, including its famous Springfield, Missouri location (known as the “largest CVS in the world”). Though this is less than 1% of their overall footprint, the move will cost CVS more than $130 million.

Neiman Marcus

Year Established: 1907
Store Closures: 
4 Branches

The news about Neiman Marcus broke in mid-April of 2020, so the exact amount of store closures for the 113-year-old retailer is, for now, unknown. Inside sources at Neiman Marcus confirmed to Reuters that the Dallas-based business is in the process of declaring bankruptcy and negotiating with creditors for an emergency loan.

Thankfully, the process was resolved in late 2020 and Neiman Marcus was purchased by several investment firms, which plan on bringing the company back to its former glory. As of mid-2021, the much-loved brand is trying to get back on its feet and expand its digital presence while holding on to stores. The New York Times described Neiman Marcus as a former “symbol of luxury” – but whether more stores will close in 2022 remains to be seen.

Foot Locker

Year Established: 1974
Store Closures: 117 Branches

The bad news: sportswear favorite Foot Locker has announced plans to close some 117 stores. The good news? The majority of these stores are located overseas, meaning its US market and locations will remain mostly intact.

However, sales aren’t the full picture of what is going on at a store. Foot Locker might have strong sales numbers, but not everything is smooth sailing. The closures are occurring because of a shakeup in management. Foot Locker got a new CEO, and the CEO is having the company lay off employees and cut jobs to reorganize.

Guess

Year Established: 1981 
Store Closures:
 200 Branches

Guess has been part of American history since it emerged from California in 1981, but like many luxury retailers, things haven’t been easy lately. In January 2021, Guess announced plans to close 200 stores across the world in the following two years. While it equates to just 9% of their global presence, the majority of closures will be in the US and China. 

Stock in the company is down 52% in the last year thanks to closures due to the pandemic. With no other way to recoup their losses, Guess is doing what many other retailers are opting to do – close their doors and hope for better days.

Victoria’s Secret

Year Established: 1977
Store Closures: 50 Branches

Victoria’s Secret was founded by Roy and Gaye Raymond in 1977. The lingerie store is credited with bringing hip, fashionable lingerie into the mainstream. The company later opened its subsidiary Victoria’s Secret Pink, which includes apparel and sleepwear. It was Pink that ended up closing first, as Victoria’s Secret decided to focus solely on lingerie.

In 2019, Victoria’s Secret became the largest retailer of lingerie in the US but has seen sales gradually decrease. To keep revenues up, the company closed more than 50 locations in 2019 and 250 in 2020 in order to compete with the demands of e-commerce. CEP Stuart Burgdoerfer told ABC News, “We would expect to have a meaningful number of additional store closures beyond the 250 that we’re pursuing this year, meaning there will be more in 2021 and probably a bit more in 2022.”

Pottery Barn

Year Established: 1949
Store Closures: 3 Branches

Owned by Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn had announced the closure of at least one of its store locations before the beginning of 2020, it is currently unknown if any more stores are slated to close by the end of the year. The brand is associated with hip, posh home furnishing decor and is based in San Francisco.

Alas, despite pop culture accolades, there is no denying that Pottery Barn is struggling in the market right now. The Denver Post pointed out the problem back in 2017, stating that the company was “struggling to adapt” to a changing “retail landscape.” The company’s furniture is not apartment-sized, and that has cut out a huge segment of potential customers. 

Target

Year Established: 1995
Store Closures: 13 Branches

Emerging as one of the biggest rivals to the retail titan known as Walmart, Target exploded to global success in the 2010s – though the company was actually formed more than a decade ago. At the time, it was known as Goodfellow Dry Goods.

Target has transitioned exceptionally well into the Internet age by focusing on Internet sales and targeting (pun intended) the more image-conscious consumer. Though revenues are up, Target plans to close about 13 locations through 2022 – though more store openings are likely on the horizon.

Disney

Year Established: 1987
Store Closures: 60 stores

Side note, this is good news for many, since Disney is a cult and part of the problem.

It goes without saying that Disney has been around a lot longer than 40 years, but the very first Disney store opened back in 1987. Kids and families have been going wild for the locations ever since, but even this titan has fallen on hard times. 

The House of Mouse announced plans to close 60 of its stores in North America by the time 2021 draws to a close. Considering Disney has a total global presence of 300 locations, that’s a fair slice of the pie. More stores could be shuttered on top of this number.

Banana Republic

Year Established: 1978
Store Closures:
 84 Branches

In 2016, Banana Republic began to have problems. The fashion chain shut down all of its stores in the UK. In 2017, it counted 700 stores left, most of them in America and Asia. Banana Republic’s woes have continued, and it is reported to be closing 84 stores in total over the next few years.

The average pace for the retailer is 15 store closures per quarter, though that might pick up pace in the future. Banana Republic has also announced closures of Jack and Intermix, two of its other sister stores, though exact numbers on those are unclear. 

Kmart

Year Established: 1899
Store Closures: 100+ branches

Things just keep getting worse and worse for Kmart. Once a serious competitor to the likes of Walmart and Target, Kmart’s sales began sinking in the late 1990s. The company found itself declaring bankruptcy in 2002 and forced to fire more than 30,000 employees. The company managed to rebrand itself the following year, tallying its first year-over-year increase by 2005 thanks to a merger with Sears.

But the rise of e-commerce proved to be a fatal blow for Kmart. By 2010 the store was shutting down dozens of locations, followed by seemingly endless liquidations and failed attempts to reboot their brand.

Kmart filed Chapter 11 again in 2018, announcing that hundreds of stores would be closing immediately. Ahead of 2020, the company announced that at least another 100 locations will be closing for good – adding to the growing belief that Kmart’s days are all but numbered. A CNN report stated that by the end of 2021 just 48 Kmarts would still be in operation, “They’re closing stores where possible and listing virtually all of other locations with commercial real estate brokers.”

American Eagle Outfitters

Year Established: 1977
Store Closures: Up to 250 branches

American Eagle Outfitters has been around for some time, with hundreds of stores across America. While it’s not the biggest retailer out there by any means, the company has big plans and hopes to reach a revenue of $2 billion by 2023. In order to make this happen, it plans on closing around 250 stores by 2023. 

That way, it hopes to be able to focus on growing its other brand, Aerie, and pool more resources in that direction. It will be a long process, but it’s worth keeping an eye on your local store. The retailer is a fixture in malls across the country, so it’ll be sad if it starts to disappear.

Chico’s

Year Established: 1983
Store Closures: 100 Branches

Known for its hundreds of nationwide locations, Chico’s has announced plans to close some 100 stores by 2022. This includes a slew of the original Chico’s brand stores, along with several dozen Soma and White House Black Market stores, which fall under the Chico’s brand.

Originally started in 1983, Chico’s became one of the fastest-growing women’s fashion retailers within the decade. The brand saw major boosts from stars like Martha Stewart and Oprah (who particularly loved their Silver Ox Cuff Watches.)

Office Depot

Year Established: 1986
Store Closures: Unknown

One of the largest office supply chains in the U.S., Office Depothas headquarters in Florida and over a thousand locations across North America. The company has done its best to compete with Amazon and other E-Commerce titans over the years.

Stock prices sagged in 2019 following disappointing sales, triggering the company to slate several dozen stores for closure before the beginning of the 2020 fiscal year. In early May 2020, the company announced a restructuring that would include closing stores and laying off 13,000 workers by the end of 2023.

Kohl’s

Year Established: 1962
Store Closures: 27 Branches

Kohl’s is a department store that sells clothes, home goods, makeup, jewelry, and more. Similar in composition to Macy’s, it is also going the same way as its main competitor. This is because 25% of malls, according to a Credit report, will be going out of business in the next few years.

Kohl’s has closed its mall locations and is focusing on expanding its standalone stores and online presence. Kohl’s has been praised for its economic resilience, which comes from the company’s lack of notable reliance on mall traffic.

Carter’s

Year Established: 1865
Store Closures: 25 Branches

Carter’s Inc. is a baby clothing and kids’ apparel store that owns OshKosh B’Gosh, the William Carter Company, and similar retailers. It brings in $3.4 billion in revenue each year, and it employs nearly 21,000 employees. However, Carter’s has not been immune to consumer shopping habits and has had to close down several branches.

Carter’s has shut down many OshKosh B’Gosh branches recently. It has decreased physical store presence, but it is expanding in other areas. It currently operates brands that are exclusive to major retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. These brands include Simple Joys, Child of Mine, and more.

Express

Year Established: 1980
Store Closures:
 60 Branches

In the beginning of January 2020, the dress clothes retailer Express announced that it would be making some cutbacks, effective by 2022. The closures would commence in 2020. Express announced that it would close 100 stores, beginning in January. This year, it will close 31 stores in 20 states, with California’s mall locations being the first to go.

Express originally stated that it would close 91 locations, but they boosted that amount quickly. Another 35 closures will take place in 2021, and the remaining will take place in 2022. Express decided to make the closures as it struggles with low sales numbers, probably spurred by the rise in e-tail.

Modell’s

Year Established: 1889
Store Closures: 
134 branches (all stores)

One of the oldest companies on the list, Modell’s Sporting Goods has long been a mainstay in the world of sporting equipment, holding their own against once-giants of the industry such as Sports Authority, Dick’s, and Galyan’s.

Now that most pieces of sports equipment can be bought online for cheaper, they too are beginning to struggle. Since falling on hard times, Modell’s has seen 134 stores close in 2020-2021, liquidating all brick-and-mortar stores. Modell’s, a major Dick’s Sporting Goods competitor didn’t adapt to a changing market and “failed to invest.” Modell’s officially filed for bankruptcy in March of 2020. The branch closure announcement came shortly after, with Modell’s moving to secure an online-only presence moving into 2021 and 2022.

Z Gallerie

Year Established: 1979
Store Closures: 7 Branches

Z Gallerie announced back in 2019 that the company had hit hard times when it filed for bankruptcy. The home decor retailing company had 76 stores scattered across America, but it now looks like at least 10 of those locations closed in 2019 and there are 7 more that will be gone for good by the beginning of 2022.

The company was originally formed back in the late 1970s, slowly growing into one of the nation’s most diverse home furnishing chain stores. Z Gallerie was able to overcome bankruptcy in 2009, and they were able to do the same now. The company was purchased by Direct Buy in July 2019 and opened four new Z Gallerie stores nationally.

Burger King

Year Established: 1954
Store Closures:
 200-250 stores

Business Insider called Burger King a restaurant that we can expect to “see a little less of come 2022.” The burger-and-fries chain is owned by RBI, and its parent company was in charge of making the decision to close between 200 and 250 Burger King restaurants, in an attempt to boost profitability in certain underperforming areas.

Christopher & Banks

Year Established: 1956 
Store Closures: 
37

News broke in mid-January of 2021 that retailer Christopher & Banks, which sells women’s clothes and accessories in forty-four states, would be filing for bankruptcy and closing down 37 of its stores (with likely more to come.)

Jones said that the “financial distress” caused by the recent global environment required Christopher & Banks to make tough choices to “position…for the future.” The statement continued, warning that fans of Christopher & Banks might see all of its brick-and-mortar stores close in the near future, if the situation doesn’t change. 

Vera Wang

Year Established: 1990
Store Closures:
 50 Branches

Vera Wang announced that it would be closing fifty stores by the year 2021. The retailer wants to focus more on its licensing than its brick-and-mortar stores. Vera Wang escaped the retail plunge in 2019 pretty much unscathed. 9,300 stores closed in 2019, but the luxury retailer saw few closings.

Vera Wang made a name for herself designing high-end wedding gowns. As of summer 2021, Vera Wang gowns are still available to purchase at stores such as Neiman Marcus, SOYOO Bridal, and more. That being said, 2022 could hold more reductions in Vera Wang’s physical presence in stores.

Zara

Year Established: 1974 
Store Closures:
 1,200 Branches

FastCompany.com described Zara as the latest “retail victim” of 2020. The clothing store will be closing all 1,200 of its locations by the new year, focusing more on online shopping. The brand, which is owned by Inditex, a Spanish company, said that it is looking to take its fashion brand into 2021 with a more modern approach.

Inditex made the decision to go all-digital when it saw its in-store sales slump by 44%. The parent company announced that it would invest $3 billion into the online Zara stores in 2021. As Glossy put it, this is another “fast-fashion exit” from the world of physical sales. Some stores still remain operational in different territories moving into 2022, but more closures could be imminent.

Williams-Sonoma

Year Established: 1956
Store Closures: 30 Branches (reducing by a further 25% over the next five years)

Known for its wide selection of fancy kitchen-and-home furnishings and appliances, Williams-Sonoma has a small army of brands including Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma Home, and West Elm. The company is more than a half-century old, and has successfully transitioned into one of the biggest e-commerce giants on the globe.

With that in mind, the company’s decision to shutter roughly 30 of their physical store locations back at the end of last year likely didn’t come as much of a shock. The company’s brand continues to expand across the world and tallies profit every year, but has said there are plans to reduce its physical footprint by an additional 25% over the next five years.

Denny’s

Year Established: 1953 
Store Closures: 15

New Yorkers who love Denny’s will be sad to hear this one. Denny’s announced in 2020 that it would permanently close fifteen of its stores, laying off over 500 workers. The WARN notices filed in the state blamed the “unforeseen” complications from the global situation. The Denny’s restaurants were all owned by the same franchisee: Feast American Diners.

Feast operates 230 restaurants in total, including Corner Bakery Café and Jack in the Box, in ten states, making customers wonder if the closures will expand to more than just a few Denny’s. Of all the locations of the closures expected to continue for Denny’s into 2021 and beyond, Rochester, NY is the hardest hit. 

Francesca’s

Year Established: 1999
Store Closures: 140 stores

As we well know, 2020 was a cruel year for many businesses. Some managed to emerge unscathed, while others had no choice but to reevaluate. Fashion retailer Francesca’s has a 20-year legacy, but that wasn’t enough to save it entirely. 

The Texas-based company filed for chapter 11 at the tail of 2020, announcing its plans to close 140 out of 700 locations. While many of the popular sites remain open, it sets a worrying precedent for the company moving forward. Loyal customers hope Francesca’s is able to weather the storm.

Ralphs

Year Established: 1873
Store Closures: 2 stores

It might be hard to believe, but Ralph’s has been around since 1873. That’s a long time for any supermarket. While the Kroger-owned chain isn’t as big as some other grocery stores, it’s still a beloved name. Sadly for some LA residents, two locations are closing their doors in 2021-2022. 

The Pico Boulevard and West Slauson Ave spots will shutter for good midway through the year, much to the disappointment of locals. A spokesperson for the brand admitted that it was down to huge financial losses during 2020 and was essentially damage limitation. 

Family Video

Year Established: 1978 
Store Closures:
 200 Branches

Family Video, an Illinois-based DVD rental chain, was one of the last of its kind. It announced that, by 2021, there would be no more Family Video in many locations, as rough sales in 2020 forced it to make “tough business decisions.” The chain will be closing 200 of its stores. There are just 400 remaining.  

How Family Video has managed to hang on this long is a mystery, as everyone remembers the demise of Blockbuster Video and similar chains. Forbes credited the “last video chain[‘s]” survival to its simple business method. The retail chain was worth $750 million in 2017, though that will likely change by 2022.

OfficeMax

Year Established: 1988
Store Closures: 90 Branches (Over the next 2 years)

Much like its parent company, Office Depot, OfficeMax is one of the leading office supply retailers in the United States – though the chain also has locations in Mexico and Canada as well. The company was formed in the late 1980s, merging with Office Depot in 2013.

OfficeMax shuttered several dozen of its store locations following sagging sales in 2019 and is said to be closing another 90 stores over the next two years. The liquidation is seen as a much-needed step to get the company back on its feet and meet its profit expectations.

Tiffany & Co.

Year Established: 1837
Store Closures:
 1 Branch

Tiffany & Co. is one of the oldest jewelry stores in history, having been founded in the mid-nineteenth century. The brand announced in 2020 that it would be temporarily closing its flagship location in NYC for renovations. The Fifth Avenue store is perhaps Tiffany & Co.’s most famous location, so fans of the brand will be relieved that the closures are not permanent.

When asked about the closures, Tiffany’s reassured Americans that it wasn’t permanent, nor was it a sign of troubled times ahead for the business. It said in a statement that “love and optimism” were at the heart of the brand, always. Delays mean the store won’t open again until spring 2022.

Zales

Year Established: 1924
Store Closures: 455 Branches (Over 3 year period)

Zales is a jewelry store that is a subsidiary of Signet Jewelers. Zales is the sibling company of Kay Jewelers, and Zales is popular in malls and department stores. Signet announced that it was planning massive closures of its subsidiaries. Signet stated it would close 13% of its stores in total.

This thirteen percent equates to 455 of its locations. The giant operates 3,500 locations in total, and its closures will take place over a three-year period, giving consumers time to adjust. It made the groundbreaking announcement in the spring of 2019, making the news official.

Luby’s

Year Established: 1947
Store Closures: All

Luby’s first set up shop in San Antonio, Texas, in 1947 before going on to expand and open tons of different locations. Customers were saddened to learn in 2021 that the company was going out of business. It announced plans to close all of its spots by 2022 and withdraw the brand totally from view. 

It swiftly made moves to sell all locations that it could but the process is still ongoing. The southern-style food will be missed by faithful customers, some of whom have been visiting the cafeterias for the past 70 years. 

Pizza Inn and Pie Five

Year Established: 1958/2011
Store Closures: Continuous 

Hospitality chains and restaurants have found the past couple of years particularly difficult, especially if they were already seeing a loss of takings to begin with. Pizza Inn and Pie Five closed over 40 locations in 2019, but each year they have steadily closed more locations, according to Eat This. 

With that being said, it’s likely that we’ll see more closures from this Rave Restaurant Group-owned property. Pizza is still a much-loved food, but restaurants in this area seem to be finding it more and more difficult to stay on top when there is so much competition. 

Air Namibia

Year Established: 1946
Store Closures: All 

Air Namibia was an important airline in that part of the world since it was established in 1946. Although it had just nine aircraft by the time 2021 rolled around, the business was fast sinking. In February of the same year, the Namibian government decided to close the airline for good. 

Over 600 staff were laid off, which was certainly a blow to the employees. There was simply too much debt to continue. Its outstanding debts were eventually consolidated into repayment installments that will be cleared in 2021.

Roti

Year Established: 1998
Store Closures: A third of all locations 

Roti made an impact as a modern Mediterranean restaurant, but 2020 wasn’t kind to the business. In order to recoup the financial losses made during one of the hardest times in modern history, the company was left with no choice but to announce the closure of a third of locations. 

Chicago is the area hardest hit, with six Roti restaurants bidding farewell to locals over the coming period in 2021. Hopefully, the closures will allow the company to get back on steadier ground and find a way to move forward. 

CSA Czech Airlines

Year Established: 1923
Store Closures: TBD

Not many airlines are as old as CSA Czech Airlines, but as we well know, age means nothing in the business world. Companies that are long in the tooth can fall just as quickly as young bucks. In February of 2021, CSA announced it was closing its entire operation after being unable to repay debts. 

However, at the time of writing, the company is still in operation with a significantly reduced fleet. The exact fate of this nigh 100-year-old company is still to be seen, but it certainly doesn’t look promising. 

Collected Group

Year Established: 2001
Store Closures: TBD

Collected Group isn’t a chain of stores in itself, but it owns plenty. The company owns Joie, Current/Elliott, and Equipment brands. Sadly, the business has been trying to keep its head above the ground for some time, leading to a chapter 11 filing in mid-2021. 

The company owes an impressive amount of money to different lenders, so it’s no telling what might become of it as we move into a new year. The estimated total debt is upward of $200 million to various creditors. 

AMC

Year Established: 1920
Store Closures: TBD

There’s big money to be made in the movie business, but movie theaters don’t always get the biggest slice of the pie. Companies like AMC don’t even make the most money from movie tickets, instead of relying on concessions and add-ons for the most profit.

Like other theaters, AMC has been struggling over the last couple of years, with many questioning how some locations can stay open. The company is remaining relatively tight-lipped on the future of its theaters considering AMC has faced and avoided bankruptcy on four occasions in recent years. 

Dunkin’ Donuts

Year Established: 1950
Store Closures: 800 by the end of 2021

Dunkin’ Donuts is a company that many Americans know thanks to its advertising strategies. That doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be supremely profitable, though. The tides can change just as quickly on this business as they can anywhere else. 

The company announced in 2020 that it would be closing the doors on over 800 locations. With an operation like this, it’s understandable that it’s being done in stages, with more stores still set to close by the end of 2021.

IHOP

Year Established: 1958
Store Closures: 100

IHOP has offered customers the chance to eat affordable food in a decent setting ever since 1958. Some regulars have been going to their local locations since they were kids, but sentimentality never made a business more profitable. 

Sadly, IHOP announced in 2020 that it would close around 100 locations by the middle of 2021, meaning that tons of travelers will be turning elsewhere for their mid-road-trip meals. It’s likely that other big fast-food titans will pick up the slack. 

McDonald’s

Year Established: 1955
Store Closures: 100+

It’s no secret that McDonald’s is the biggest fast-food chain on the planet, with locations in almost every territory. McDonald’s has survived since 1955 for many reasons, including its ever-changing business strategy. In 2021, the company announced plans to close tons of restaurants situated inside Walmarts. 

At one point in time, the partnership between Walmart and McDonald’s was strong, with over 1,000 locations inside the stores. Now, after the closures come into full force, there will only be an estimated 150 spots left open.

Westfield Malls

Year Established: 1960
Store Closures: TBD

American is well-known for its shopping malls, some of which are operated by Westfield. Malls and department stores have been hard hit in recent times, so it’s hardly surprising that some mall landlords are looking to change their strategy. 

Westfield announced plans to “significantly reduce its financial exposure to US assets in 2021/2022” according to Retail Dive. It’s not clear which locations will be on the chopping block, but it’s likely that some may close, while others may be sold on.

Becca Cosmetics

Year Established: 2001
Store Closures: All locations 

Becca Cosmetics operated for two decades before it took a devastating blow in 2001. At the start of 2021, fans were shocked to read a statement posted to Becca’s socials alerting them to the closure of the brand.

It read, “At BECCA, an accumulation of challenges…has sadly been more than our business can withstand, and we have had to make the heartbreaking decision to close down the BECCA brand at the end of September 2021.” After that date, all products were removed from sale in stores and online. 

Fresh Acquisitions

Year Established: 1946
Store Closures: All locations 

Fresh Acquisitions owns six restaurant chains including Ryan’s, Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Fire Mountain, and Furr’s. At the height of its success, it had multiple locations across 27 states, but in the middle of 2021 Fresh announced it was filing for bankruptcy. 

Tahoe Joe’s will be one of the company’s only remaining brands when all other businesses are closed, while Furr’s will be getting somewhat of an image revamp and fewer locations. The company expressed a desire to emerge from bankruptcy in a much stronger position.

Aldi

Year Established: 1946
Store Closures: TBD

Aldi became famous as a European grocery store before becoming a popular US brand in recent years. That being said, even Aldi faced tough times during 2020. However, unlike some other stores, Aldi managed to emerge from the crisis relatively unscathed. 

Despite a handful of temporary closures, Aldi has managed to come out on top. It’s one of few retailers looking to increase its presence in the US, opening 100 stores over the next period. There’s no denying that Aldi is the exception to an otherwise disastrous time in retail history.

GameStop

Year Established: 1984
Store Closures: 
180-200 Branches

GameStop has long been a hub for gamers of all ages to pick up the newest console on the market or trade in old games for cash. Recently, however, they’ve fallen on hard times. Like many other brick and mortar retailers, GameStop is hurting from the rise of e-commerce, and the ways that gaming has changed over the years.

Now, instead of rushing to the store to get the next big game, most devices allow you to download games off the internet, purchasing them from online app stores instead of in person. Though GameStop did manage to turn a fourth-quarter profit recently, the brand is struggling to keep its head above water, despite a flash-pan news story about a stock market short squeeze inspired by a legion of Reddit users.

Levi Strauss

Year Established: 1853 
Store Closures:
 Unknown 

Back in March, Levi made the difficult decision to shutter all of its US and Canada locations in order to ride out what everyone hoped was the worst part of the pandemic. While most locations opened again, the retailer is still feeling the effects that could impact its operations in 2022. 

Levi laid off 15% of its corporate workforce (equating to around 700 employees) in order to try and level out the damage. It hasn’t been a good financial year for the 170-year-old brand, but as it’s so well-established it has a better fighting chance at recovery than many others. 

Walmart (aka Walcult)

Year Established: 1962
Store Closures:
 154 Branches

As the old saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.” This is the case for Walmart, which announced that it would be closing 154 stores through 2022. The department store had closed the exact same number a few years ago, but it didn’t leave everyone with all bad news.

Walmart said that it would open between fifty and sixty new Walmart SuperCenters (Walmart stores with eye care, pharmacies, and a restaurant in them), as well as 85 to 95 regular “neighborhood markets.” According to the chain, approximately 10,000 employees will be affected by Walmart closures.

AT&T

Year Established: 1983 
Store Closures:
 320 Branches

In 2020, AT&T closed down 250 of its physical stores. Now, it will be closing down another 320, according to the Communications Workers of America Union. The CWA said that these closures will lead to more than 1,600 job losses. AT&T has defended the total of 570 closures by saying it is “adjusting” its retail presence to “reflect” consumer “shopping practices.”

AT&T said that it always intended to focus more on online sales, as opposed to in-person store traffic. The retailer stated that the reason it was happening so quickly was that the retail apocalypse of 2020 accelerated the plans.

Bath & Body Works

Year Established: 1990
Store Closures: 50 Branches

Arguably one of the most consistent staples of any American mall, Bath & Body Works vaulted from relative obscurity to market king within a decade of its founding. The company is one of the few brands to not only escape the “retail apocalypse” of the 2010s – but actually flourish during this time.

Having said that, the company recently announced that 50 store locations, primarily in the United States, will be closing permanently by the end of 2022. The company plans to offset this with a three-year plan to open to 46 new locations and renovate up to 175 pre-existing locations. Considering the company operates more than 1,600 stores worldwide, this is hardly a drop in the bucket.

Bose

Year Established: 1964
Store Closures: 
119 Branches

The tech outlet Bose announced that it would be shifting to online shopping, as that is where the company believes the future of retail lies (they do have a point). Bose is shrinking its retail store count dramatically, closing down 119 stores in Japan, North America, Australia, and Europe. The company said its actions were the result of the “dramatic shift” from in-person shopping to digital.

Bose made this announcement in mid-January of 2020 by sending a press release to CNN Business, Business Insider, Fox Business, and all the other major media outlets. China won’t see a big change, though—130 stores will remain open there. 

Burgerim

Year Established: 2011
Store Closures: TBD

Burgerim was thriving in 2018, with locations and franchises popping up in many different states. It looked like it was a brand on the rise, but the fairytale soon took a turn for the worse. Trouble started brewing in the form of legal issues just in 2019 which has heavily impacted the company. 

Now, restaurants are continuously closing leading to a rapid decline in their physical presence. While the company isn’t strictly going under, it is trying to recoup on steadier ground after refunding more than $57 million in franchise fees.

L’Occitane

Year Established: 1976
Store Closures: 23

Like many other retailers, L’Occitane has been in the industry for a long time, weathering many storms over the decades. That doesn’t mean they aren’t always looking to switch up their strategy and save money, though. 

CEO Mr. Reinold Geiger explained according to Retail in Asia, “After a solid FY2021, we are pleased to see our growth trajectory continue into FY2022. Importantly, even as stores reopen globally, the shift in our channel mix towards online has remained intact, demonstrating the success of our omni-channel distribution.”

Marks & Spencer

Year Established: 1884
Store Closures: 30

While Marks and Spencer don’t have an enormous American presence, it’s one of the oldest retailers in the UK. In mid-2021, it was announced that the giant would be closing around 30 of its stores after announcing a huge loss of over $200 million. 

While some of the stores have shuttered already, others still have yet to close their doors and will be cleared out at the tail end of 2021 and early 2022. Brits are sad to see these locations go and hope more stores will reopen in the future. 

JCPenney

Year Established: 1902
Store Closures: Up 90

Like many department stores in recent times, JCPenney has had a tough run of it. Despite being over 100 years old, the chain hasn’t always been the most profitable. After filing for Chapter 11 in 2020, the company closed 170 stores.

There are still plans to close a further 90, spanning across 2021 and into 2022, so it may take some time before the physical store presence is whittled down. JCPenney is a beloved institution to many, who hate to see the company in such dire straits.  

Fossil

Year Established: 1984
Store Closures: 65 to 75

Fossil has had a strong retail presence since opening its doors in 1984, but the last period has been particularly tough on the watch and handbag retailer. The company lost $96 million throughout 2020, meaning it had no choice but to look at cutting costs. 

The result was the announcement of store closures of around 75 stores across 2021 and 2022. Fossil simply chose not to renew the lease on several stores, but more could be shuttering as the years tick by if the company can’t get back on steady ground.

Palmer House Hilton, Chicago

Year Established: 1871
Store Closures: 1

Hilton as a company owns many hotels, but there are some that are more ingrained in the public consciousness than others. Palmer House Hilton in Chicago first welcomed guests way back in 1871, but it’s been on rocky territory in recent times. 

A plummet in its value and a tough blow to the hospitality industry meant that the hotel closed in March 2020, staying closed for over a year until it reopened in 2021. It is currently taking bookings, but pundits are less than convinced about the longevity of the hotel’s operations.

H&M

Year Established: 1947
Store Closures:
 215 Branches

H&M is the go-to retailer for shoppers all over the world looking for trendy pieces at an affordable price. From workwear to streetwear, and everything in between, the fashion giant has clothes for men, women, and children for every occasion. 

Like other brick-and-mortar stores, H&M fell on hard times in 2020, announcing 250 store closures by the end of 2021. They then went back on their announcement after receiving surprisingly high sales figures in the fourth quarter of the year.

Best Buy

Year Established: 1966
Store Closures:
 >20 Branches

Best Buy is a one stop shop for all things electronic. From great deals on flat screen TVs to finding a replacement for that one random cable you need for an old camera, they have everything you could want or need. 

However, the tech retailer has faced a dramatic decline in sales over the years as the rise of online retail has taken hold. It’s unclear exactly how many stores will close in the following years, but higher ups at the company say the number will be greater than 20.

Paper Source

Year Established: 1983 
Store Closures: 
TBD (Filed Bankruptcy)

Paper Source, as you might have guessed from the name, is a one-stop-shop for custom invitations, paper goods, and greeting cards. The company announced in March of 2021 that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Sales had plummeted because of the events of 2020, and Paper Source wanted to be sure it was protected while it restructured.

As with a lot of businesses, that restructuring likely means store closures. Stock market watchers were surprised at Paper Source’s announcement, as the store had been expanding as recently as early 2020. It even bought some chains from Papyrus, its liquidating rival, before announcing the sharp reversal in fortune.

Goodwill

Year Established: 1902 
Store Closures:
 8 Branches

Goodwill is a discount store for pretty much everything you can think of, from furniture to clothing to random items. It’s a shame that the chain has had to close several branches in certain areas, as low-income people rely on Goodwill for affordable items.

Goodwill announced in March of 2021 that it would be closing eight of its thrift stores in the Bay Area. Mike Keenan, the president of Goodwill in that area, said that the decision was “difficult” but necessary for “economic reasons.” Specifically, the Goodwill closures will take place in Vallejo, Dixon, Berkeley, Albany, Oakland (Durant Square), Livermore, Dublin, and Oakley. 

Justice

Year Established: 1987 
Store Closures:
 TBD (1,600 Total from Ascena)

Ascena Group, the owner of Justice, a tween clothing store, filed for bankruptcy in 2020, and that filing has had lasting effects that are likely to continue into 2022. Justice is going the same way as Lane Bryant, LOFT, and Ann Taylor, its sister companies.

Ascena announced that it was planning to shut down 1,600 of its 2,800 stores. Justice makes up 826 stores in the Ascena brand, and it remains to be seen what selection of the 1,600 closures will be comprised of the tween-oriented store, which was once called Limited Too. Justice’s liquidation sales have been going well, as customers have quickly bought items that have been marked down by 50%. Though sales have plummeted for the brand, Justice shoppers are giving it at least some boost in revenue.

24 Hour Fitness

Year Established: 1983 
Store Closures:
 130 Branches

24 Hour Fitness has been a popular gym location since the chain was founded in the 1980s. The company has been through some intense restructuring that has continued through 2021 and is likely to continue through 2022. According to 24 Hour Fitness, it would be shutting down 130 branches progressively, leaving around 300 locations left.

The brand filed for Chapter 11 in June of 2020, blaming hardship from the events of that year. Things have been looking up for the company since December of 2020, though they’re not out of the woods yet. 24 Hour Fitness had been struggling financially before 2020 hit, and things just went downhill from there, leading to the bankruptcy filing.

Lane Bryant

Year Established: 1904 
Store Closures:
 150 Branches

Lane Bryant has been an outlet for plus-size fashion for decades. Unfortunately for fans of the brand, around 150 Lane Bryants, including 52 outlet stores, are closing as part of the Ascena Group’s bankruptcy. Ascena Group’s financial struggles hit some of the nation’s most popular clothing stores hard, and Lane Bryant was one of them.

Lane Bryant has nearly 700 retail and outlet stores and, in 2019, the brand had $919 million in fiscal sales. Those dropped the next year, leading to Ascena’s decision to close 150 branches. Catherines, a similar plus-size retailer, is closing all of its 300+ stores, though it is expected to reopen as an online-only venue. 

Cricket Wireless

Year Established: 1999
Store Closures:
 111 Branches

Cricket Wireless is a wireless service provider that AT&T owns. It has about ten million subscribers in the United States. In terms of stores that AT&T actually owns and operates, there were 111. The rest are franchises, and those compose about 4,400 stores.

AT&T made the decision to close its Cricket Wireless stores after 2020. According to the phone giant, Cricket made up a “small portion” of AT&T’s “overall portfolio.” The other thousands of Cricket stores will remain in operation and run by “authorized retailers.” According to AT&T, “changes in buying behavior” were mainly to blame for the closure decision. 

Earth Fare

Year Established: 1975 
Store Closures:
 20 Branches

Earth Fare is a wellness and health supermarket that was founded in the mid-seventies. The company ceased operations in February of 2020 (well before many companies had to close down that year), and it announced that it was going to close down all of its stores.

There are still twenty left in eight states. Though some fans of the organic food chain were hoping that Earth Fare wouldn’t go out of business, those hopes will, sadly, be dashed. Earth Fare is still in the process of liquidating its inventory. In February of 2020, it was the third grocer that month to either shut down or seek a sale under Chapter 11.  

GNC

Year Established: 1935 
Store Closures:
 900 Branches

Much like Earth Fare, GNC is another health and wellness store that has bit the dust. The vitamin retailer wasn’t doing well before 2020 hit, and the events that year just sealed GNC’s fate. In June of 2020, the brand declared bankruptcy and announced that it would close 900 of its stores, which number 7,300 in total.

The closures are slated to take place over the next few years, wrapping up in 2023. When GNC filed for bankruptcy, it asked a judge to protect it against creditors to which it owed money. The judge later would approve a sale to Harbin Pharmaceutical Holding Co., preventing GNC from being sold at auction.   

Loft

Year Established: 1998 
Store Closures:
 30 Branches

Ann Taylor LOFT is part of the Ann Taylor brand which is, in turn, part of the Ascena Group, which has met quite a hard end as of 2021. LOFT was yet another victim of Ascena’s bankruptcy filing, and the parent company announced that thirty of LOFT’s 666 outlets and stores would be shutting down.

This announcement came along with the decision that 38 of Ann Taylor’s 290+ locations would shut down as well. These closures were, once again, part of the 1,200-store shut down that Ascena agreed to in order to keep the company from completely going under.

L’Occitane

Year Established: 1976 
Store Closures:
 23 Branches

L’Occitane is a high-end lotion and bath product chain. The brand just seems expensive, and it’s perfect for a luxury gift (or a present to yourself). Unfortunately, fans of L’Occitane might have to take their business to L’Occitane’s online store, as the brand filed for bankruptcy in 2021.

L’Occitane announced in the filing that it was planning to close twenty-three of its 166 American stores. The move was made in an attempt to finalize its “store footprint optimization plan,” which is a way to streamline its revenue. The closures came on the heels of a sales drop of 56.5% between April of 2020 and December of 2020. Online sales for the brand, by contrast, rose 72%.

Microsoft

Year Established: 1975 
Store Closures:
 83 Branches

If you’ve been following tech headlines, then you already know about Microsoft’s decision to close all of its eighty-three in-person stores. For a long time, tech bloggers and commentators have pointed out that Microsoft just isn’t able to compete with Apple when it comes to the in-store game.

Microsoft apparently agrees, and the tech giant decided to cut its losses after 2020 and shut down all of its stores. The only exceptions will be four stores, which will be revamped and, according to Microsoft, “reimagined.” Instead of actual stores, these four locations will become “experience centers” to demonstrate new technology.

Pet Valu

Year Established: 1975 
Store Closures:
 358 Branches

For decades, Pet Valu was a discount way to get supplies and services for your pets. Fans of the chain were disappointed to learn that Pet Valu was going to close down all 358 of its stores. The announcement was made in November of 2020, and the closures are still ongoing.

Pet Valu said it was winding down all of its operations, including corporate offices and warehouses. The beneficiary of this closure ended up being Pet Valu’s former rival, Pet Supplies Plus. Pet Supplies Plus acquired forty of Pet Value’s stores, and it announced in December of 2020 that it would rebrand Pet Valu in P.S.P.’s image. 

Rent The Runway

Year Established: 2009
Store Closures:
 5 Branches

Rent the Runway is yet another clothing store that found it was more profitable to focus on its online business than its foot traffic. In August of 2020, the subscription-based startup announced that it would be shutting down its stores in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, L.A., and New York City.

Rent the Runway, which was founded more than a decade ago, said it wouldn’t reopen any of the five stores, but would instead focus on its online investments and drop-box network. The NYC store would be converted into a drop-off site, where customers could drop off items when they were done renting them.

Kay Jewelers

Year Established: 1916 
Store Closures:
 400 Branches

Like a lot of stores on this list, Kay Jewelers is a victim of its parent company’s financial decisions. Signet Jewelers operates nearly 3,200 stores globally under the Kay Jewelers, Jared, Piercing Pagoda, and Zales brands. Signet announced that it was planning to shut down 150 of its stores by the end of 2021.

This came on the heels of an announcement that it would be closing 400 stores in June of 2020. Kay Jewelers is the largest retailer in the world when it comes to diamond jewelry, and the announcement that it wouldn’t reopen a lot of its stores after 2020 came as a shock to the high-end jewelry world. 

Ulta Beauty

Year Established: 1990 
Store Closures:
 19 Branches

Ulta Beauty is a dream for people who love makeup. It has pretty much every product you could ever want, and it is always making new deals with beauty brands and other stores. For example, Ulta announced that it was going to open one-hundred mini-stores in Targets across the country during the latter half of 2021.

These new openings were exciting to fans, but not all the news from Ulta was positive. Ulta not only shrank its corporate staff, but it also announced its plans to shut down nineteen stores during the third fiscal quarter of 2020. Hopefully, Ulta shoppers whose favorite store closed will be able to go to Target, instead.

Compass Airlines

Year Established: 2006 
Store Closures:
 N/A (Entire Airline Shut Down)

When you talk about Compass Airlines, you have to do so in the past tense, as the regional airline is no longer open. Compass was part of Delta (previously Northwest Airlines), and it launched in 2006. Compass operated more than 1.5 million passenger flights during its fourteen years in business, and it had over 2,000 employees.

In 2020, Compass ended its operations. It cited reduced travel demands because of the events of that year. Compass also blamed Delta for its fate, stating that Delta hadn’t secured additional flying for its subsidiary. One week after the announcement, Compass’ 56 planes were out of commission. 

Kroger

Year Established: 1883 
Store Closures:
 7 Branches

Kroger actually did quite well during 2020, earning record profits of $2.5 billion with sales numbers reaching $132 million. Its store sales were 8%, which was a remarkable number for an industry where a 2% sales number is considered very strong. Though Kroger had a windfall in 2020, it still announced in 2021 that it would be shutting down seven stores.

Kroger announced that its decision was based on the stores’ performance. Kroger wasn’t able to cover expenses in the stores, so it laid-off workers. These lay-offs came without hazard pay, as Kroger strongly opposed hazard pay mandates, something that has landed the chain in hot water with its former employees.

California Pizza Kitchen

Year Established: 1985 
Store Closures:
 46 Branches

California Pizza Kitchen, a popular restaurant chain that was founded in California but has spread across the country, had a rough fall in 2020, and the effects are carrying over into 2021 and could continue into 2022. In the fall of 2020, California Pizza Kitchen declared bankruptcy.

It announced that it would be progressively shutting down forty-six of its restaurants, which were not “suitable for off-premises.” The bankruptcy deal, filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, was finalized in November of 2020, and CPK wiped out $220 million in debt and negotiated $67 million in rent savings through the next four years.

Sur La Table

Year Established: 1972 
Store Closures: 
51 Branches

Sur La Table is a privately-owned retail company founded in 1972 in Seattle. It has 130 locations, but not all of those venues are going to remain open. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the kitchen appliance retailer has liquidated a lot of its stores, with more planned for closure throughout the end of the year.

Sur La Table filed for Chapter 11 in July of 2020, and it has since announced that it will close fifty-one of its stores, representing nearly a one-third decrease. The closures will take place over time, with liquidation sales taking place at the locations selected for shut-down.

Ruby Tuesday

Year Established: 1972 
Store Closures:
 185 Branches

Ruby Tuesday, a restaurant chain serving fast-casual American food, has been shrinking lately. It is continuing to close a total of 185 of its chains. The restaurant filed for Chapter 11 in October of 2020, and its fate is a little less shaky, but still up in the air.

The bankruptcy filing was designed to cut its debts, and Ruby Tuesday said it and its secured lenders had “reached an understanding…to support…restructuring.” Ruby Tuesday has 236 company-owned locations left, in addition to an unlisted amount of locations, which are run by ten different franchisee groups. Ruby Tuesday said that, other than the 185 closures, it “does not anticipate” more will happen.

Applebee’s

Year Established: 1980 
Store Closures:
 15 Branches

Speaking of American fast-casual dining, Applebee’s is yet another restaurant chain to feel the effects of 2020. Applebee’s has been around for several decades, and it seems like it’s hard to find a neighborhood without the chain. However, some neighborhoods might find that they’re lacking an Applebee’s, as the brand said it would be closing an additional fifteen stores in the final quarter of 2020.

These fifteen were tacked onto the additional twenty that the chain closed the quarter before, bringing the total number of closures to 100. Overall, Applebee’s has a plan to close two hundred underperforming locations, but the rest of the closures are TBD. 

Steak N Shake

Year Established: 1934 
Store Closures:
 83 Branches

Steak’n Shake has often been people’s first choice for a milkshake and a burger, but the chain recently closed 13% of its restaurants. Steak’n Shake started 2020 with 610 restaurants, and it shut down eight-three of them.

As of March of 2021, Steak’n Shake announced that it was debt-free after the company narrowly avoided bankruptcy, thanks to an angel buyer. The restaurant chain had $153 million in debt, which was paid off by Biglari Holdings, meaning that Steak’n Shake didn’t have to file for Chapter 11. Funds from the 83 locations the chain sold went to implement a totally new service model, developed by Biglari. 

Piggly Wiggly

Year Established: 1916
Store Closures: Unknown

Piggly Wiggly opened its doors over a century ago, and it was considered cutting-edge at the time because it was the first self-service supermarket. Piggly Wiggly helped revolutionize the grocery shopping industry. Though the chain still has 530 locations, it has been closing stores left and right.

It closed two stores, one in Alabama and one in North Carolina, in the span of a month. The reasons behind the closures had to do with labor shortages, something that is affecting pretty much every aspect of the food industry. Though the exact number of Piggly Wiggly closures remains unknown for now, if the store continues on its current trajectory, you can expect more closings to come. 

Long John Silver’s

Year Established: 1969
Store Closures: 1 Branch

John Silver’s, which was once one of the most popular fast-casual restaurant chains in America, has gone through some rough times in the past five years. The restaurant has closed an average of sixty restaurants per year, and the brand has been burdened with having to buy back troubled franchises.  

By 2019, Long John Silver’s began to turn it around, though it is not out of the woods yet. The events of 2020 have caused it to continue to close stores, including one in Joliet. The struggling chain appointed a new CEO, who is likely to make changes in 2022. These changes are geared towards simplifying the business, which could mean more closures.

Boston Market

Year Established: 1985
Store Closures: 45 Branches

Boston Market is no stranger to having to close large chunks of its stores. The restaurant chain first filed for bankruptcy in 1998, and it had to close 400 of its locations because of the filing. Since then, the restaurant chain’s footprint has shrunk yearly.

It announced in 2019 that it would be phasing out 45 locations. This means there are 330 Boston Market locations left. The franchise has been struggling long before 2020. The issues in the nineties were caused by overexpansion, but the financial problems now are more complicated. At one point, Boston Market had 1,200 locations. Now, it has a fraction of that number.

Brio Italian Mediterranean

Year Established: 1992
Store Closures: 71 Branches

Brio Italian Mediterranean is a fast-casual dining chain that specializes in Italian- and Mediterranean-style food. The parent company of Brio and its sister chain, Bravo, filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2020, and things have been rocky ever since.

The plan is to close 71 out of the current 92 restaurants. The closures were listed as temporary, though it’s possible the chain won’t reopen all of the closed stores. In the filing, Brio asked for a buyer for its chain, and it got one. Earl Enterprises, the same company that owns Buca di Beppo, Planet Hollywood, and Earl of Sandwich, bought the chain in June of 2020. 

Save A Lot

Year Established: 1977
Store Closures: 300 Branches

Save A Lot has been closing down stores left and right. In January of 2021, it sold off fifty-one of its stores, and, nine months later, it sold off another thirty-two. The Ohio-based retailer has closed much of its stores in the South, particularly in the Tampa, Florida area, in order to cut debt.

Part of the reason that Save A Lot is shedding branches is because of its new model. The grocer is transitioning to a wholesale store, and it will be selling more than 300 of its branches to retailers. This transition will allow Save A Lot to fix its precarious financial situation, and it’s already making strides. In April of 2021, the chain announced that it had cut half a billion dollars in debt so far.

Friendly’s

Year Established: 1935
Store Closures: Unknown 

We’ll have to see how many Friendly’s restaurants close in the upcoming year. In November of 2020, Friendly’s declared bankruptcy, but the problems the franchise experienced go back several years before that. For example, in 2019, Friendly’s closed down most of its locations in New England and upstate New York.

Later that year, there were more closures. After the pressures of 2020, the restaurant continued to struggle until it filed for Chapter 11 protection. Red Mango bought Amici Partners Group, the same entity that owns Red Mango, for under $2 million. It remains to be seen how many Friendly’s the Amici Group will close to help relieve the family restaurant chain’s financial woes. 

Fuddruckers

Year Established: 1979
Store Closures: 49 Branches

June of 2022 is the finalization date for the liquidation of Fuddruckers’ parent company, Luby’s Inc. Fuddruckers fans can enjoy the chain’s “World’s Greatest Hamburgers” until then. To those who have been reading the restaurant world headlines, this won’t come as a surprise, as Fuddruckers has been struggling for quite some time.

The cafeteria-style chain announced in September of 2020 that it was going to be liquidated as part of Luby’s shutdown. In the summer of 2021, Black Titan Franchise announced that it would buy the chain for $18.5 million, so there is a chance that some of the franchise-owned Fuddruckers will stay open, if not the company-owned chains. We’ll have to see. 

Le Pain Quotidien

Year Established: 1990
Store Closures: 46 Branches

Le Pain Quotidien closed down all ninety-eight of its U.S. locations in March of 2020. Shortly thereafter, it filed for Chapter 11 in May of that year. However, the chain had planned that filing since well before the events of 2020, according to court filings.

Le Pain Quotidien will be reopening a little over half of its restaurants, thanks to its new parent company, Aurify. Aurify, a New York food brand, operates Five Guys, Melt Shop, and Fields Good Chicken, among others. Autify bought the struggling LPQ for $3 million, and it will reopen profitable locations, streamlining the business to make it work more effectively. 

Stop & Shop

Year Established: 1914
Store Closures: 19 Branches

There have been a few closures of actual Stop & Shops in the past two years, but the part of the business that has been hit hardest is the in-store pharmacies. The in-store pharmacies of Stop & Shop have been one of the chain’s best-liked features, offering prescription drugs for reasonable prices.

In September of 2021, the chain announced that it would be closing nineteen of its in-store pharmacies. According to Caroline Medeiros, Stop & Shop’s spokeswoman, “steadily declining reimbursements” of prescriptions by third-party and government payors are to blame. Medeiros said that this “decline” has impacted retail pharmacies across America. Still, Stop & Shop will continue to operate two-hundred pharmacies in the Northeast.

Perkins

Year Established: 1958
Store Closures: 29 Branches

Much like Friendly’s, Perkins is a family dining chain that has been beloved by its fans. Though Perkins has gotten the reputation as a neighborhood restaurant, it has had its struggles. There are twenty-nine Perkins closing for sure, many of which have already shuttered their doors.

The company that owns Perkins and Marie Callender filed for Chapter 11 in 2019. It has over 400 restaurants in Canada and North America. Apparently, the financial woes of Perkins’ parent company were caused by fewer customers and the rising costs of labor and food. The events of 2020 didn’t help the already-struggling chain, so it’s possible Perkins will have to close more branches.

P.F. Chang’s

Year Established: 1993
Store Closures: Unknown

P.F. Chang’s has closed its restaurants in Chicago, but there is a twist to these closures that might continue in other locations. The Asian-inspired restaurant chain opened its first-ever “to go” kiosks in Chicago in January of 2020, opening two in place of actual dine-in locations.

Brand development Vice President Tana Davila said that the chain was “excited” to try this new offering. The to-go P.F. Chang restaurants have a “curated” menu, which means that only the most popular items are available. It is focused on catering, takeout, and delivery. If more P.F. Changs close in the future, it’s possible to-go restaurants will take their place.

Red Robin

Year Established: 1969
Store Closures: 5 Branches

Red Robin, a popular fast-casual burger chain, has had a tough couple of years. The chain closed down five locations permanently. Though it had closed several dozen temporarily in 2020, these five didn’t reopen, and the closures caused Red Robin to lose $6.5 million.

The locations weren’t profitable anymore. Red Robin tried to save its branches from closure by offering curbside pickup and expanding outdoor seating. It even stopped paying the full amount of rent for its HQ. But, these changes weren’t enough to stave off the closures, and the five locations have been shut down for good.

Subway

Year Established: 1965
Store Closures: Unknown

Rumors have often circulated that Subway is going out of business. These rumors are untrue, and the sandwich chain remains one of the most popular fast-food joints in the world. What is true is that Subway is closing restaurants and experiencing a unit-count decline.

Subway closed ten percent of its stores in 2020. In 2019, it closed 1,000 locations and saw its sales drop $210 million. Three years before that, Subway closed 359 stores. The steady decline has been well-documented. The problem is that Subway is experiencing declining sales and has too many locations. The fix is to close chains, and this trend of closures will continue in 2022, though the exact count is unknown for now.

Sweet Tomatoes

Year Established: 1978
Store Closures: 97 Branches

Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation are two sister chains that have experienced a lot of turmoil in the past couple of years. Sweet Tomatoes announced in May of 2020 that it was going to permanently close all of its restaurant locations in America. Across the U.S., there are ninety-seven Sweet Tomatoes locations, and forty-four of those are in California alone.

In May of 2020, Souplantation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was the likely precursor to the closures. Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes are both owned by Garden Fresh Restaurants, which brings in $250 million in revenue a year. It remains to be seen how many Sweet Tomatoes restaurants will reopen in 2022.

TGI Fridays

Year Established: 1965
Store Closures: 20%

TGI Friday’s is another fast-casual chain that has gotten a reputation for itself as a family-friendly establishment. TGI Friday’s is considered somewhat of a neighborhood restaurant, much like Friendly’s and Perkins. Sadly, it’s going the same way as Friendly’s and Perkins.

In February of 2021, TGI Friday’s announced that it was going to close 20% of all of its American restaurants permanently. The closures came on the heels of a tough 2020. The restaurant chain’s CEO explained that they wanted to save “as many jobs” and “businesses as possible” around the world, but it wasn’t going to be possible for all of the company to survive.

Cosi

Year Established: 1964
Store Closures: 30 Branches

Cosi, a sandwich and coffee chain, has found it hard to compete against Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. The chain has struggled to survive, filing for bankruptcy twice in five years as it searches for a reliable, long-lasting buyer. So far, thirty stores have closed, with likely more to come.

Cosi has twenty locations as of November of 2020, and that dwindling amount might not last. Cosi said that it wants to focus on its catering business as much as possible, something that could require shutting down in-person and dine-in venues that are still remaining after the last Chapter 11 filing.

Chuck E. Cheese

Year Established: 1977
Store Closures: 10-20 Branches

Parents might be relieved to hear this, but kids certainly won’t be. Chuck E. Cheese is a popular kid’s restaurant because it comes with games and mascots. Despite its popularity among kids, the chain has a huge debt load of $1 billion.

In the 1990s, Chuck E. Cheese was everywhere. The debt began amassing in the early 2000s, and the chain was already struggling by the time that the pandemic hit. There are ten to twenty locations in states like California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Iowa, and more that are closing and/or seeking renegotiation of their lease agreement. The kids’ restaurant chain officially declared bankruptcy in June of 2020.

Maison Kayser

Year Established: 1996
Store Closures: 16 Branches

The fate of Maison Kayser, a bakery chain with dozens of restaurants in New York (sixteen in New York City alone), is still up in the air. Many of the French bakeries were purchased by Le Pain Quotidien, once the chain’s biggest competitor, after Maison Kayser declared bankruptcy in the fall of 2020.

In July of 2020, headlines ran that said that the bakery chain might close down sixteen of its New York City locations. The French bakery later said that the “hurdles” of 2020 were “too great to overcome” in the end, leading to its sale to Le Pain Quotidien.

Dave & Buster’s

Year Established: 1982
Store Closures: Unknown

Dave & Busters, a restaurant and gaming chain, has suffered a major decline since 2020. In the fourth quarter of that year alone, the chain saw a 75% decline in sales. Many of its units remain closed, and there’s no telling if (and how many of) those chains will be reopened.

Brian Jenkins, the CEO of Dave & Busters, acknowledged that there has been a “setback,” even though, briefly, the chain appeared to be recovering from 2020. The total loss of revenue reached $22 million during one fiscal quarter, and it doesn’t appear that the “eatertainment” venue is out of the woods yet.

Share your thoughts on Retail Chain stores closing in the comments section below (I’m sure I know what will be said.)

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