Here are some of names people are actively searching and wanted to know if they are really closing down.

  • Wilsons Leather – In the fall of 2008, Wilsons Leather shut down all of their mall-based stores. They have since been taken over by AM Retail. AM Retail now operates their 119 outlet stores and e-commerce business. Not closing down 🙂
  • Macy’s – Macy’s Company closed 11 of their stores (including some Bloomingdale’s stores) in 2008. In January 2010, they ended up closing another 5 underperforming stores.
  • Ann Taylor – Out of 966 locations, the Ann Taylor women’s clothing chain closed 117 of their stores in January 2008. In addition to the store closings, they also eliminated over 180 headquarters jobs.
  • Charming Shoppes, Inc – Charming Shoppes, Inc, owner of such stores as Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherine’s women’s clothing, closed 150 underperforming stores in 2008. They were forced to close another 120 stores in 2010 and 240 stores in 2011.
  • Metropark, USA. – Theirs is a store that sells high-end denim and other clothing, targeting men and women in the 25-35 year old market. They filed for bankruptcy in May of 2011 due to unemployment and the recession, among other things.
  • Children’s Place – the company that owns the Disney Store chain, closed about 98 Disney Stores and subsequently filed for bankruptcy in March of 2008. The Disney Company has since taken over ownership of Disney Store, overseeing its remaining 200+ stores. According to Children’s Place, the Disney Store operated at a loss of 107+ million for the year of 2007/2008.
  • Filene’s Basement – a store chain that has been around since 1909, closed the last of its 21 stores at the end of January 2012.

With the 2008 economic downturn, many businesses suffered losses – especially retailers. It is not uncommon for businesses to feel the “sting” of a bad economy in lost sales, lost customers, and wasted inventory; what is uncommon is how long this bad economy has lasted. Normally a downturn, like the current one, may last several months to a year. The free market tends to readjust itself after a short amount of time. But this downturn has lasted not a couple months, but several years. Because of the extended duration of the poor economic state, no one is immune to its impact. Corporations, retailers, and consumers alike have felt the squeeze of the economy on their lives in some way shape or form.

Arguably, while there are several corporations that have been hard hit by the economy, retailers seem to have been hit a little harder – or at least the impact of the poor economy on them seems to be more apparent. The average retailer seems to get hit from 2 sides. First of all, they experience cut backs from the corporate side. Franchisees feel the pressure from the higher level executives to keep things running smoothly with limited resources. They are given a skeleton crew with which to run their stores because it is too expensive to keep more employees on the payroll.

Secondly, a retailer gets hit from the end user side. The bad economy affects the consumers too. They are not able to spend as much of their income as they did before. So they are more apt to do without items they would normally go shopping for, they’ll prepare meals at home in lieu of going to a restaurant, or perhaps they’ll patronize a retailer such as Goodwill or other thrift stores, that can offer second hand clothing and shoes at rock bottom prices. They are placed in a position where they have to be willing to give up the convenience of going to a store and finding things immediately in their size, in an effort to make their dollar stretch farther.