November 24th, 2008 by Joshua Weinberger

A frighteningly long list of retail closures came across the transom during the last few days, and while I haven’t yet fact-checked every point (stay tuned for links, chronology, etc.), I quickly found enough supporting material to merit republishing and amending the list here. (You may have seen a similar list mass-emailed around; I’ve added several additional points.)

Even if one or two bullet points are off in detail, the sheer breadth of the damage here is breathtaking. The bloodbath crosses every kind of retail sector, and is clearly not just a reflection of the tough times we’re in, but a harbinger of worse times to come.

Every closed retail location may represent eventual savings for the company involved (after shouldering the actual costs of the close itself, that is), but also represents dozens or even hundreds of out-of-work employees (who are, after all, someone else’s customers), reductions up the supply chain, and rent and taxes removed from that store’s local economy.

In other words, this is bad news with ripple effects that will be felt for months and years to come. (For starters? According to one report, “Consumers will lose $100 million this year on worthless gift cards, from restaurants and stores that have gone belly up.”)

The list includes retailers that have shuttered (or plan to shutter) their entire chains and filed for bankruptcy protection (Linens ‘N Things, The Sharper Image) and ongoing concerns that have nevertheless announced severe cutbacks (Home Depot, Gap, Macy’s).

Full list after the jump, but feel free to comment below with any other names we should add to this list.

Please note: Anything in Italic is not yet verified.


  • Ann Taylor*: closing 117 of its 959 women’s-clothing stores
  • Caché*: closed 14 stores (but, according to, is also opening stores and currently has 295 across the country)
  • Charming Shoppes* (operator of plus-size women’s apparel stores Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherine’s): has closed 150 of approximately 2,360 stores
  • Eddie Bauer: to close stores 27 stores and more after January
  • Foot Locker*: closed 140 stores out of more than 3,500 in North America
  • The Gap*: closing 85 of its 2,677 Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic stores (but, according to, also repositioning and opening others)
  • J. Jill: announced about a month ago that it will be closing all 78 of its kids and men’s stores.
  • Lillian Vernon: filed for bankruptcy
  • Mervyns*: will liquidate and close its 149 remaining stores after the holidays
  • Pacific Sunware*: closed all 228 stores that were branded as Demo stores featuring “urban-style” clothes. [Note: one report puts the total at 154 stores.]
  • Shoe Pavilion*: liquidating and will close all stores by the end of the year. It had 117 stores when it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization
  • Sigrid Olsen*: all 54 stores (operated by Liz Claiborne), were closed
  • Talbots*: closed 22 stores, 2 percent of its total
  • Wilson Leather*: closed 160 stores, 62 percent of its total, and converting the remaining stores into a new women’s-accessories concept


  • Pep Boys*: closed 31 locations, about 5 percent of its auto-supply and -repair stores

Casual Dining:

  • Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern*: all 200 company-owned restaurants were closed as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation filing in July
  • Mrs. Fields: filed for bankruptcy
  • Starbucks*: closing 600 underperforming stores, 19 percent of its total

Department Stores:


  • Circuit City*: filed for bankruptcy, plans to close 155 of its 721 stores by the end of the year
  • CompUSA*: liquidated all 103 of its stores in January
  • F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment)*: closed 100 stores, about 12 percent of its total; the Trans World Entertainment stores had operated under a variety of different names including Sam Goody, Suncoast Motion Picture Co., and Wherehouse Music, before being united under the F.Y.E. brand name.
  • Hollywood Video (and Movie Gallery)*: nation’s second largest video-rental retailer closed 542 stores (plus another 378 operated under the name Movie Gallery) under Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, which ended in May
  • The Sharper Image*: closed all 184 stores as part of a bankruptcy liquidation
  • Tweeter Electronics: filed for bankruptcy in early November, and will only accept gift cards through December 31st or until its stores close

Home Furnishings:

  • Bombay Co.*: filed for bankruptcy, closed all 388 stores in January
  • Ethan Allen*: closed 12 retail design centers and two service centers
  • Home Depot*: closing 15 out of 2,141 stores
  • Kirkland’s Home*: home-decor retailer is closing 130 stores, about 37 percent of its store count, by the middle of next year
  • Levitz Furniture: filed for bankruptcy; closing remaining stores
  • Linens ‘N Things*: liquidating and closing all 370 of its stores
  • Mikasa*: dinnerware and home-decor retailer in January closed all 86 of its outlet stores
  • Lowe’s: plans to close some stores
  • Wickes Furniture: closing down


  • Friedman’s/Crescent Jewelers*: liquidated and closed 377 of 565 of its stores as of the end of July
  • Whitehall Jewelers*: in the final stages of liquidating and closing all 373 of its stores
  • Zales*: closed 105 stores, 3 percent of its total


  • CostPlus World Market*: trimmed about 6 percent of its stores, closing 18 of 314 locations
  • The Disney Store*: closed 98 of its 322 North American stores after being reacquired in March by The Disney Co.
  • Rent-A-Center*: closed 280 stores, about 8 percent of its total stores
  • Piercing Pagoda: closing all stores


  • Sprint/Nextel*: closed 125 stores, about 8 percent of its total


  • KB Toys*: closed 156 stores, about 26 percent of its chain, a year ago after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Note: A spokesman for the company was quoted in October 2008 as saying, “We just opened 30 stores recently and we continue to serve the families that shop at the more than 460 locations nationwide.”)

* A special hat-tip to the staff of Inside Tucson’s The site had compiled a detailed list of affected chains operating in Arizona, which was the source for information regarding retailers marked with an asterisk above.

All retailers are hurt by the economy, but you need to look at how management deals with it. Here’s a good analysis of cash flow for retailers:

Comment by Allaroundguy — — January 27, 2009 @ 10:35 am

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