The worst seems to be over, but retailing is still a tough business. These companies closed a lot of stores in 2009, and are likely to be closing more this year.
Sources: The companies (spokespeople and websites), Davidowitz & Associates, About.com
2009 Store closures: 365
Outlook: Almost half the company’s stores have shut down following a bankruptcy last year. The company has since been bought by private investors who continue to operate 375 stores as Ritz Camera & Imaging.
2009 Store closures: 110 (Q4 2008 to Q3 2009)
Outook: Amazon.com continues to wreak havoc on traditional booksellers. The Borders unit says it will close an estimated 200 stores during the three months ending January 31, for a total of roughly 300 Waldenbooks stores over the past 13 months, close to 70 percent of all outlets. Retail analysts at Davidowitz & Associates give Borders Group, plagued with losses three years running, a 50-50 chance of survival.
2009 store closures: 300
Outlook: Part of a two-year plan to close 960 stores, about 13 percentÂ of Blockbuster’s 7,100 locations in the Americas. The company is trying to reformulate with kiosks and on-demand services that focus on hot new releases, but experts say the costs associated with the transformation will be too expensive to pull off without a bankruptcy. Shares have plunged from $10 to under a dollar a share since 2005.
Fiscal 2009 Store closures: 218
Outlook: Jewelry has been hit very hard by the recession, with an estimated 2,000 stores closing last year throughout the industry. No official word on additional closings in 2010.
Jones Apparel Group
2009 Store closures: 69
Outlook: The company plans another 196 closures this year for a two-year total of 265. But with a rising shoe business and numerous off-mall outlet locations, the company figures to continue its recovery from the stock price plunge of late-2008 to mid-2009.
2009 Store closures: 566 (fiscal 2009, 12 months ended Sept. 27)
Outlook: Last year’s cuts were part of plan to close 800 stores over two years, or about 10% of the total. Starbucks is ridding itself of excess and is poised to face an economic recovery with a stronger balance sheet.
2009 Store closures: 461
Outlook: Poor. Another mall-based Wal-Mart. Around since 1922, the company filed for bankruptcy in December 2008. It just stopped honoring gift cards this month.