Shopping malls are a thing of the past and unfortunately, many of the stores that you used to see in those malls have become relics too. Some retailers that used to be in every major city in America have closed all of their locations in the past few years in favor of online sales.
If you haven’t seen a Zales, Gap or Sears around in a while, you can be pretty sure that they’ve moved their business online. Thanks to retailers like Amazon, customers are proving that they’d rather shop online than set foot in a store, so many of these classic brands have closed for business.
While many people still regularly visit this restaurant chain, not many are aware that Chipotle has been suffering greatly. Its first location was opened in 1993, and it instantly became a hit among consumers. However, Chipotle found itself in a challenging situation due to rising health concerns.
Fewer and fewer customers began visiting Chipotle, and their sales have dropped rapidly. Between 2019 and 2020, 65 of their locations have closed across the country.
GNC was the place to stock up on wellness products like supplements, vitamins and energy drinks, but nowadays you won’t see many of these stores left in big cities. The company closed around 1,000 of their nearly 4,000 locations in 2021 and most of their most successful locations were in malls across the country, which have also been performing poorly lately.
The department store chain has been doing a lot to revamp their image in recent years, like carrying clothing designed by high-fashion designers and celebrities, but it hasn’t been enough to secure its fate. Sales were down around 40% in the first quarter of 2021 and Brookfield Asset Management, the owners of competitor JCPenney, put in an offer to buy the company that ultimately fell through due to a decrease in sales caused by inflation.
McDonald’s obviously isn’t closing for good anytime soon, but the fast food brand that is known around the world is quietly closing “low volume” locations by the hundreds. Costs have increased for the fast food brand following the pandemic to implement new health and safety regulations, which has eaten into profits.
Signet Jewelers owns popular jewelry chains such as Kay Jewelers, Piercing Pagoda, Zales and Jared. Despite their impressive stores, the company also fell victim to the pandemic and permanently closed 80 locations in 2020. Despite an increase in online sales, their overall sales fell 15% in 2021 and closed an additional 100 stores in 2021 to focus more heavily on online distribution.
Unless you’re a student getting ready for the new school year, you probably don’t visit Office Depot very often. Thanks to online options like Amazon, fewer and fewer people are shopping at physical office supply stores, which is one reason why Office Depot closed 55 stores nationwide in 2021 and announced plans to close another 90 locations in 2022.
Macy’s is one of the most famous department stores in the world, and it has an impressive history. Besides being the namesake of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has run since 1924, the chain has opened hundreds of locations around the world since their start in 1858. Unfortunately, many of their mall locations have recently closed, including some of the 125 locations that have recently shuttered.
Gamestop may be one of the biggest video game retailers in the world, but the store is still having a hard time keeping up with online retailers. Due to decreased foot traffic in physical stores, the company will be closing over 300 locations in 2022 to “de-densify” their chain. But don’t expect the company to go anywhere any time soon. Thanks to a viral campaign, the company’s stock price soared in 2021 and overall revenue for the company is up.
Just like the malls that this chain is usually located in, JCPenney’s locations are quickly dwindling across the nation. In 2020, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has closed stores left and right since then. The department store closed 192 locations in 2021 and another 50 in 2022 after being acquired by new owners Brookfield Property Partners and Simon Property Group.
Even Walmart, one of the biggest retailers in the world, has seen some setbacks in recent years. The chain was forced to close a few locations due to the pandemic, which came a few years after restructuring within their Sam’s Club business caused dozens of those locations to close permanently. Walmart is also focusing more of their business on online sales due to increased demand.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Five Guys Burgers and Fries has been in business since 1986, and in that time they have managed to open hundreds of locations in dozens of countries. But in recent years, quite a few locations across the United States have closed while the company opens up more locations in countries like Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
It's safe to say Hooters has seen better days. The tiny waitress outfits aren't increasing the sales like they used to. The chain has been seeing a slow decline in revenue in the last ten years.
More than 7 percent of their locations have been closed, and they lost millions of dollars in potential earnings. The chain tried to change things up by renaming some of their locations to "Hoots" and dressing the waitresses more conservative.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond has always been a mainstay at shopping malls, but now there are more places than ever to get bedding, linens and other home goods, so the once popular chain is seeing decreased demand across the board. The company announced 43 closures in 2021 along with an announcement to reduce their corporate staff by about 20%. The next year, another 150 locations were also closed.
CVS has locations across America and is known as a reliable pharmacy and health store. But in 2021, the company announced plans to close 900 stores nationwide over the next three years due to problems such as “changes in consumer shopping behavior, population, and the future of health care needs.” This announcement mean sthat about 10% of CVS locations in the U.S. would close.
Bath & Body Works
If you love the tradition of stocking up on yummy-smelling lotions and mini-sized hand sanitizers at Bath & Body Works, you may be disappointed to hear that they are closing quite a few of their physical locations in the near future. In 2022 alone, the company announced about 50 closures, but all of their goodies will still be available online.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is one of the most popular fast casual dining franchises in the United States, but even this brand has faced some serious setbacks. The Cheesecake Factory was founded in Los Angeles in 1972 and although the company is nearing its 50th anniversary, about 10% of the restaurant’s locations have been forced to close since the beginning of 2020.
PetSmart is the go-to shop for all things pet supplies, but thanks to online retailers like Amazon, the store has seen significantly less foot traffic in recent years. The company is billions of dollars in debt, but thanks to new leadership and a majority share in the online pet store Chewy, they are hopeful of the future.
Walgreens, like other popular pharmacies, has had competition from online retailers lately, and it has had some serious effects for the company. Walgreens announced in 2019 that they would be closing 200 stores in the next few years, and this process is still ongoing. But there are still thousands of other locations around the world.
J. Crew emerged on the scene in 1983 and since then it has operated more than 450 retail stores around the country. But like other clothing stores, it was hit hard during the 2020 pandemic and filed for bankruptcy protection that year. That same year, the company appointed a new CEO and permanently closed all six of its stores in the U.K., leading people to think that they would close U.S. locations as well.
Papyrus was a stationery and paper goods store that unfortunately closed all of its locations in 2020. The company was one of the largest greeting card retailers in the U.S., but thanks to online options for customizable cards and stationary, the once successful company couldn’t keep up with their competitors and filed for bankruptcy in 2019.
Nordstrom was around for the heyday of the department store, and they once boasted a luxury retail experience. But in the years since their founding in 1901, that high-end experience fell out of fashion and the company is now closing many of their locations. Nordstrom closed 16 stores in 2021 alone and there may be more on the way soon.
With current rates of inflation, discount store are very popular among people looking for a good deal, but Family Dollar has also been losing business in recent years. The company, which was founded in 1959 once had over 8,000 locations, but in 2019 they announced that they would begin closing about 400 stores.
Pier 1 Imports
Pier 1 Imports sold home goods and furniture, but things started to go bad for the company in 2020. At the beginning of the year, there were over 1,000 physical store in business, but after a bankruptcy filing, the company decided to close all of its locations and focus solely on online sales, making the company’s physical stores entirely defunct.
Kmart is mostly seen as a relic of the ‘90s now, but in its heyday the company operated nearly 2,500 stores. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2002, but merged with Sears in 2004, which both stores assumed would help their business. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and hundreds of Kmarts have closed in the last few years, including 120 in 2019 and another 60 in 2020.
Gap was a major name in fashion in the ‘90s, but even a partnership with Kanye West hasn’t proven to be enough to save the chain. In August of 2020, Gap and its sister company Banana Republic announced that they’re be closing 225 physical locations as a result of the pandemic. Most of these locations were located in shopping malls, but it still represented a major portion of their overall stores.
Bloomingdale’s has been a top department store for years and despite the business operating since 1861, it has met some setbacks in recent years. After merging with Macy’s, the company closed its oldest location in 2020 with more closures coming later. The chain currently has just 55 locations still open.
Tuesday Morning is a discount retailer based in the U.S. that at its height operated over 700 locations. But in 2020, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed over 200 unprofitable locations and one of their distribution centers. Afterwards, the company restructured their leadership team, but it is yet to be seen whether the company will remain profitable in the future.
Sears reached its peak in the ‘70s and since then the company has closed thousands of locations in the United States. There used to be nearly 4,000 Sears locations in the U.S. and today there are only 20 still operating. The business declined slowly over the years, but by the time they filed for bankruptcy in 2019, it was clear that Sears couldn’t bounce back from their declining sales.
Destination Maternity is one of the world’s largest maternity apparel retailers in the world and although their physical stores are disappearing, their business is still doing well. The business has decided to shift to mostly online sales after filing for bankruptcy in 2019 and closing hundreds of their physical locations.
99 Cents Only
The 99 Cents Only store is known as one of the most popular bargain stores out there, but the company that was founded in 1982 hasn’t been doing well in recent years. Low profit margins or online competition may be to blame. Locations have been dwindling for years and a few California locations will be closed following an announcement from the company in 2022.
Art Van Furniture
Art Van Furniture was a popular chain in the Midwest, but sadly, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and closed all of its stores. It was once the largest furniture retailer in the Midwest, but the company that was founded in 1959 may have expanded their reach too quickly, causing the market to become oversaturated.
Fred’s was a retail chain store that operated in 15 states and was founded in 1947. In 2019, the company operated 396 locations, 155 of which were pharmacies, but by the end of the year the company filed for bankruptcy and announced that they would be closing all of their locations and liquidating all remaining merchandise. The company officially went defunct at the end of 2019.
Guitar Center’s history as been up and down at times, but for the moment they are still going strong. After opening their first location in Hollywood in 1959, the music retailer opened an additional 293 locations. But the company has significant debt in the range of $1 billion that has hindered their growth in recent years. In 2020, the company filed for bankruptcy and $800 million of debt was forgiven after a company reorganization.
The luxury store has been operating since 1907, but in recent years it has hit hard times. Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy in 2020, but was able to exit the bankruptcy in September of that year after furloughing about 14,000 employees. There are only 37 Neiman Marcus locations left in the world, but maybe under the company’s new ownership they will be able to regain the popularity they once had.
The Hallmark company was founded in 1910 and since then, they have become the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States. But in the digital age, the company has lost some popularity and focused more on its television channel in recent years. The company planned to close at least 18 stores in 2021, but most of these locations are independently operated.
Bose is still a powerful force in the world of sound, producing some of the best speakers and headphones on the market, but not all of their customers know that Bose stores used to be pretty popular too. The company has recently made the shift into entirely online sales, planning to close all 50 of their physical locations in the near future.
It wasn’t long ago that the only way to get a new phone was to visit your local retailer, but now there are endless online options to not only purchase your phone, but set it up on a phone plan too. Because of this, AT&T is planning on closing all of their 250 physical stores in the near future, proving that online sales aren’t a fad that will go away any time soon.
Olympia Sports has been the go-to store for athletic wear for years, especially if you find yourself at a shopping mall. But in the past few years, the company has closed most of their stores, proving that the end of the brand was in sight. In July of 2022, the company announced that all remaining Olympia Sports stores would be closed and liquidated by the end of September.
Modell’s Sporting Goods
Modell’s is a sporting good supply that had locations on the East coast of the U.S. for many years. At their height, they had over 150 locations in ten states, but after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2020, the company decided to liquidate and close all of their remaining locations. The brand still exists online, but as of August 2020, there are no physical Modell’s stores left open.
Lands’ End was previously a subsidiary of Sears, but they left the company in 2014, causing all store-within-store branches in Sears to close. This left Lands’ End with significantly fewer locations, but they still have 30 physical retail stores besides their popular mail order business.
Wilsons Leather is a popular fashion retailer, but the company that once had over 750 stores is now planning to close all of its remaining 110 locations. G-III Apparel Group, the company that owns the brand decided to close these stores to focus their business on the more successful brands they own such as DKNY, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld.
The Children’s Place
The Children’s Place was one of the most popular children’s apparel companies in the United States for a while, with over 900 stores in the U.S. and 90 international stores in 12 countries. But due to most of their locations being within shopping malls, the company hasn’t seen very impressive profits lately, which is why they had to close 200 of their locations in 2021.
Forever 21 has always been a great option for cheap and trendy outfits, but due to inexpensive online retailers like Shein and Fashion Nova, fewer customers are shopping at physical locations. This could be the cause of the company filing for bankruptcy protection in 2019, which lead to the closure of Forever 21 stores in 40 countries. The brand is now concentrating on its operations in the U.S. and Latin America, as well as online sales.
Chico’s is a chain of women’s clothing stores that specializes in classy and fun styles. The company had over 1,300 locations in the U.S. and Canada in 2019, but they are following the trend of moving their business online. Chico’s recently partnered with Amazon to sell their fashions and announced plans to close about 250 locations in the near future.
Health crazes may be all the rage online, but fewer and fewer people are visiting physical stores like the Vitamin Shoppe for their wellness products. In 2017, there were about 785 Vitamin Shoppe locations across the country, but today there are about 80 fewer stores, proving that more locations may be closing soon.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch has been in hot water lately thanks to their exclusionary business tactics that looked down on overweight people, but the business has been trying to distance themselves from those scandals in recent years.
Unfortunately, the store that was once a mainstay of American malls has closed about 40 stores in the past year with plans to close even more in the future. The business is now focused on opening smaller stores with brighter color schemes that are marketed towards a slightly older audience.
If you have your ears pierced, there’s a good chance that you got them pierced at Claire’s at your local mall. But business isn’t booming for the company, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. Their approach to continuing business includes closing underperforming locations and favoring stores in popular locations, as well as setting up kiosks within drug stores and grocery stores.
Payless was a popular discount shoe retailer that was very successful for many years. The company had over 3,500 locations in 2018 but Payless wasn’t profitable enough to stay afloat. Payless filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and closed all of its North American locations that year. But the company is currently planning a comeback with plans to open between 300 and 500 locations over the next five years.
As long as there are stores like Mattress Firm that allow customers to try out the comfiest new beds available, they will probably have some success. At least that is the case for Mattress Firm, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018, but continues to operate many locations today. The company closed 200 unprofitable stores and may have plans to close more locations soon, considering that they still have about 2,300 stores in operation.
Victoria’s Secret is one of the most popular lingerie companies in the world, but due to some bad press and decreased sales, there are significantly fewer locations than there have been in years past. Victoria’s Secret closed about 25% of their physical locations following the 2020 pandemic and has lost out on business to more inclusive competitors like Savage X Fenty and Skims.
Henri Bendel was a luxury department store headquartered in New York City that specialized in jewelry, handbags, fragrances and other high-end items. But the brand couldn’t keep up with more moderately priced retailers and ceased operations in 2019. All 23 locations were shuttered and even the brand’s website was closed for good.
Tesla as a company probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but the physical storefronts that display the newest cars from the company may soon become a thing of the past. The company is looking to focus their attention elsewhere by allowing customers to buy their cars entirely online and closing these unnecessary physical locations.
Dressbarn was founded in 1962 and the women’s retailer soon became very popular for working women. But times change and the company couldn’t keep up with changing tastes, so they closed all 650 of their physical locations in 2019. The company was then sold to Retail Ecommerce Ventures and reemerged as an online retailer in 2020.
Gymboree is a subsidiary of The Children’s Place company, which has also seen hard times lately. The children’s clothing store filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and afterwards closed all of its remaining locations. But as of 2020, the brand is still available online and in The Children’s Place locations.
Bebe specialized in trendy clothing for young women, but the store quietly closed all of its remaining 168 brick-and-mortar locations in 2017. The brand then shifted to online sales before opening one location in New York City in 2018, which is described as a “lifestyle concept store.”
Nine West is another fashion retailer that has shifted its business model away from brick-and-mortar stores. After filing for bankruptcy in 2018, the company closed all of its stores. The Nine West brand was then acquired by Authentic Brands Group, who began selling their products at other retailers.