While there may be light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the COVID pandemic, it’s not enough to counteract the brutal effect the global health crisis has had on the retail industry. Yet another beloved retailer is planning to shutter dozens of stores amid the financial fallout caused by the loss of foot traffic associated with COVID. DSW, which currently operates 501 retail locations in 44 states, is closing 65 of its stores in the near future.
On Tuesday, March 16, DSW CEO Roger Rawlins confirmed that the business had seen a 34 percent dip in sales amid the pandemic. To offset these losses—amounting to approximately $489 million in total—the company plans to shutter 24 of its stores in 2021, and an additional 41 over the next four years, Columbus Business First reports. “Until [customers] come back to us for the social occasion, this is the game that we’ve gotta play,” explained Rawlins.
In addition to the 92 employees who were let go from the company’s Columbus, Ohio headquarters in January, DSW parent company Designer Brands will lay off approximately 700 retail workers and 380 office workers amid the store closures.
DSW isn’t the only company that’s closing stores due to a serious sales slide amid COVID, however; read on to discover which other stores are closing up shop in the near future. And for retail stores that are losing customers for other reasons, This Is Why Everyone’s Mad at LOFT Right Now.
The Children’s Place
In March, kids’ clothing store The Children’s Place announced that it would be shuttering 122 stores in 2021. The store’s sales dropped 7.8 percent between 2020 and 2021, and the brand had already closed 178 of its locations in 2020. The company attributed its losses to the pandemic, noting in a statement that the decision was “primarily driven by the impact of permanent and temporary store closures and the negative impact of reduced operating hours in our mall stores, as mandated by the mall owners.” And for more store closure news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Gap and Banana Republic
Gap Inc., the parent company of Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta, will be shuttering 100 Gap and Banana Republic stores around the world in the near future. However, it’s not all bad news for Gap Inc.’s brands—the company also announced plans to open up to 30 new Athleta stores and up to 40 new Old Navy stores in 2021. And for a shopping experience you’ll never have again, This Beloved Chain Is Closing All Its Stores.
The Disney Store
The happiest store on earth got a little less joyful in 2021 after Disney announced that it would be shuttering 60 of its 300 stores. Instead, the company will be attempting to reach customers through online sales and its stores in Disney Parks, and at big box stores like Target.
“Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises,” explained Stephanie Young, president of consumer products, games, and publishing, in a statement.
Card and gift store Paper Source announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 2 after more than 37 years in business. Between 2019 and 2020, sales for the company had dipped by nearly $50 million, and the store has suffered further losses due to COVID.
“As with many other retail brands, [Paper Source has] sustained deep damage to their finances and operations as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Paper Source CFO Ronald Kruczynski in the chain’s bankruptcy filing obtained by Retail Dive. The company plans to close at least 11 of its stores, according to the court documents. And for more stores closing up shop, This Iconic Chain Is Closing Up to 50 Stores.