While it may not be the retail Armageddon of previous years, the retail landscape is certainly undergoing a significant shakeup in 2023. An analysis by Insider reveals that a substantial 2,373 stores are slated to close their doors across the United States. The reasons behind these closures are diverse, ranging from companies grappling with bankruptcy to those strategically aiming to streamline operations and adapt to shifting shopping trends.
Topping the list of closures is the once-mighty Bed Bath & Beyond, which, after declaring bankruptcy, bid adieu to a whopping 896 stores across its three brands this year. However, the brand isn’t vanishing completely; it will continue to thrive in the digital realm following the sale of its intellectual property assets to Overstock.com for $21.5 million. This closure wave affected not only the 360 flagship stores and 120 Buybuy Baby locations the company initially intended to keep open but also included 416 US Bed Bath & Beyond, Harmon, and Buybuy Baby stores that were already slated for closure, bringing the total count to 896 locations shutting down this year.
Following closely is Foot Locker, which in a strategic pivot away from shopping malls, announced the closure of 545 stores across two brands by 2026. Simultaneously, the company plans to open more than 300 “new concept” stores, both within and outside of malls, in the same timeframe.
Tuesday Morning, a Dallas-based home goods company, added 487 stores to the tally of closures. This decision came on the heels of earlier plans to shutter over half of its stores as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
In addition to these major players, other prominent names are also trimming their retail footprint. Walgreens, for instance, will close 150 stores in the US and 300 in the United Kingdom, though specific locations remain undisclosed. The venerable Bath & Body Works, while expanding its retail presence with 90 new standalone stores and 25 remodels, is concurrently closing about 50 of its mall-based stores.
Gap and Banana Republic are shedding 46 stores as part of a broader initiative that was announced by Gap to close around 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores by the end of 2023.
Party City, Walmart, Best Buy, and Lidl are also making strategic adjustments to their retail networks, closing 31, 23, 20, and 11 stores, respectively, as they realign their operations.
Amazon has decided to reevaluate its physical store strategy, leading to the closure of at least nine of its Go locations. Big Lots is refocusing on smaller towns and away from urban areas, resulting in the closure of seven stores.
Luxury consignment marketplace The RealReal is tightening its belt by shuttering four stores and two consignment offices. Macy’s is adhering to its three-year plan to close 125 locations, with four stores in shopping malls set to shut their doors in the first quarter of 2023.
Target is closing four stores in response to declining foot traffic, but it is also opening approximately 20 new stores this year. Lastly, JCPenney continues its downsizing trend, with two more stores, in Oswego, New York, and Elkhart, Indiana, scheduled to close this year.
While the retail landscape continues to evolve, these closures are indicative of the ever-changing dynamics of the industry, with companies adapting to new consumer behaviors, economic challenges, and shifting market trends.