In 2019 alone, more than 10,000 different stores have closed their doors permanently after retail brands such as PayLess Shoe Source, Dressbarn and Gymboree went bankrupt. Online sales are behind the crisis of retail brands losing sales and finally having to close up shop.
This recent spurge in retail store closures is just the beginning, as more and more customers prefer to shop online. According to the U.S. Department of Labor in the United States, almost 200,000 jobs have been lost to retail closures and that number is expected in double in the next ten years.
Even lingerie giants such as Victoria’s Secret are falling victim to the customer’s demands as more customers are looking for brands that resonate body positivity and feminist movements. Victoria’s Secret has been trying to reconnect to the consumer by introducing plus size or trans-gender models, but they fear they moved too slow in making the transition.
Other retail stores, such as GameStop, have suffered from technology innovations that basically made their retail store invalid. Consumers are able to download video games, instantly online at a reduced price without having to waste time, gas and energy to physically go into a retail store.
At the moment, online sales make up 16% of all retail sales in the United States and the number will increase by 25% in the next six years, according to the USB. Due to this, they expect closure of more than 75,000 retail stores in the following six years.
The retailers expected to be the hardest hit are clothing, electronics and home furnishing retailers. But there are some companies that will only be in our memories, unless they magically find a portion that helps them rise up again. Most of these companies are already facing bankruptcy or already liquidated all of their merchandise.
At one time, Sear’s was the biggest retail store in all of North America, but due to a lack of profit in almost an entire decade, they have decided to close their doors permanently. They have filed for bankruptcy and hoping for an investor to save them of the inevitable fate of closing part of America’s heritage.
GNC hasn’t held up well facing heavy competition from wholesale retailers and online superstores such as Amazon. GNC’s biggest challenge is the lack of foot-traffic to their retail stores in shopping malls. At the moment, they are trying to redirect consumers to their product by paying for shelving space at local superstores and online marketplaces such as Amazon.
Once the fastest growing women’s retailers in the world, bringing in more than $4billion dollars in sales, but due to a lack of being able to provide the customer with fashionable styles, they had to claim bankruptcy in 2019. They plan on closing most of their international stores and many of their retail stores in the U.S., reducing their total number of stores from 800 to less than 400.
Victoria’s Secret once was the leader in women’s lingerie, but due to heavy criticism from consumers for promoting an unrealistic image of the so-called perfect body. They have been sluggish in adapting their marketing techniques to the new #MeToo era and the body positivity movement that recreating the lingerie industry at the moment.
Pier 1 Imports
The iconic home decor chain shut down 70 stores last year, with net losses of over more than seventy million dollars, they are expecting to close more retail stores in 2020. They are planning to use new-aged marketing techniques to bring back their customers and create a more streamlined online order process.