19 Retailers that Filed for Bankruptcy and/or Closed Stores in 2017
Consumer trends are changing in the world of traditional retail shopping. Those words couldn’t have rang truer in 2017, a year that saw a massive wave of bankruptcy filings and store closures across major brands, despite a growing US economy. Some of the spokespeople for the struggling stores are blaming Amazon for ravaging brick and mortar business, while others blame Millennials (and Generation Z, behind them) for not shopping in traditional suburban malls in traditional suburban ways.
Regardless of the reasons for closures, we’ve rounded up a list of the changes that have impacted Central Ohio retail destinations the most in 2017.
All Stores Closed:
In January, locally-based The Limited announced it would be closing all brick-and-mortar stores after 54 years in business. The Limited continues to sell clothing online, but is no longer the mall staple that it once way.
Also in January, American Apparel declared that it would be closing all stores following a bankruptcy filing in 2016. The Short North store was the only local one for the chain, which finished business in the spring. You can still buy online.
Mall staple Wet Seal also bit the dust in January, closing its remaining stores all across the US, after already downsizing from its peak reach years ago.
Some Stores Closed:
Macy’s declared a downsizing was under way in January, which included the closure of two local stores at Tuttle and Eastland malls. Uniquely, Tuttle already had to Macy’s anchors due to a department store merger years ago.
Central Ohio lost Kmart and Sears locations in 2017, both of which are owned by Sears Holdings. That news meant that Eastland Mall now no longer has any anchors, and Westland mall is now 100% vacant. We can likely expect more bad news from Sears in 2018 based on their investor reporting.
In February, mall anchor JCPenny announced big plans to close 140 stores this year, but no Central Ohio locations were affected by this round of downsizing.
Electronics store hhgregg declared back in March that it would be trimming 88 stores from its lineup, which only affected the Newark/Heath location in Central Ohio.
In March, RadioShack announced that it would be closing 187 stores across the US, which included all Central Ohio locations.
Sporting goods chain Gander Mountain announced major store closure news following a bankruptcy filling and sale. That included the shuttering of its Central Ohio locations.
Video game outlet GameStop announced the closure of 150 retail locations back in March, citing lagging sales and a drop in stock value.
Mall retailer Rue21 announced earlier this year that it would be closing 400 of its stores all across the country, which included locations in Central Ohio.
In June, Payless ShoeSource released a statement about the closure of 808 of its stores, or approximately 20 percent of the brick-and-mortar footprint for the chain. That included four Central Ohio locations.
Upscale chain Michael Kors also had some bad news this summer, announcing that 125 of its locations would be closing.
The parent company of Ann Taylor, Dress Barn and Lane Bryant announced that it would be closing locations across all three brands.
Children’s clothing chain Gymboree announced this year that following a bankruptcy filing, it would be downsizing by 350 stores across the US, including stores at Easton, Lane Avenue and Lancaster.
Filed for Bankruptcy:
Last but not least, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in September in attempted to restructure its $5 billion dollars worth of debt. The company said its online business is the problem and that its brick and mortar locations are mostly profitable, but retail analysts are expecting closures to likely be announced in January after the 2017 holiday shopping season has concluded.