Storefronts were already having a rough time with the shift to online retail. According to Coresight Research, a record 9,500 stores shut off their lights in 2019 alone.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Coresight believes that as many as 25,000 storefronts may have closed their doors permanently in 2020.
Big name retailers were no exception to the rule. The following list are those chains that have been most affected.
GNC has formally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The nutrition and diet retailer had to close up to 1,200 of their storefronts in 2020.
The company has been in business selling diet and nutrition products since 1935. GNC operates 7,300 stores around the world, of which 3,600 are located within the United States.
Furthermore, it operates another 1,600 mini GNCs within Rite Aid pharmacies.
GNC was in trouble before the pandemic. Management maintains it was making progress towards keeping up with online retail and paying down debt, and then the pandemic hit.
“The COVID-19 pandemic created a situation where we were unable to accomplish our refinancing and the abrupt change in the operating environment had a dramatic negative impact on our business,” the company said in a statement
Pier 1 Imports
Pier 1, in business since 1962, was another big name retailer that had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020. That wasn’t originally the plan.
First, Pier 1 made the decision to close half of its 936 stores. Pier 1 was hoping to find a buyer that would solve its financial woes.
Unfortunately, that never materialized, and the only option Pier 1 was left with was to close its 936 stores.
“Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind down,” CEO Robert Riesbeck said in a release.
Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank
Tied at number three for store closings are Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank.
Both retailers are owned the parent company Tailored Brands. Tailored Brands plans to close 500 of its 1,400 stores across the United States and Canada.
The reasoning is simple. Suit sales have dramatically fallen off.
With the new work from home culture, people don’t feel the need to spend as much on suits, if at all.
In a statement, CEO of Tailored Plans Dinesh Lathi said Tailored Brands wants to become “a stronger company that has the financial and operational flexibility to compete and win in the rapidly evolving retail environment.”