This won’t surprise you…Most financial experts agree chain stores that are dying off fast. With 9000 closings, last year was a dismal year for chain stores, but 2018 is shaping up to be even worse.
We’re including the list below of the top chains slated for closings because there are valuable lessons to be learned for every retailer.
We’ll let you draw your own conclusions as you read through a few of the reasons experts note the chains are closing. But one thing the experts and the retailers closing down are all agreeing on is what’s working.
We here at CBA believe there’s enormous value in listening to the experts. In watching what’s happening and responding quickly. Executives at Sears and other chain stores have acknowledged it was their slow response to a changing market place that cost them in big ways.
So while a list of chain store closings might at first sound more than a little depressing, the point is knowledge trumps assumption every time. And many of these chains have creatively reinvented themselves. Not too unlike what’s needed in the faith-based products industry. Not responding to changes in customer preferences leaves everyone behind…even the once upon a time big guys.

Experts at Money Magazine say the huge shopping shift away from the mall and onto the smartphone is bringing even more ‘going out of business sales,’ store layoffs and empty big boxes.

Here’s a count down of the 27 major retailers closing the most stores in 2018.

At number 27 is J.C. Penney is on schedule to close 8 stores this year. And that’s after closing nearly 140 stores in 2017.

Lord & Taylor is at number 26 with 10 store closings scheduled. One of those being their iconic flagship store on New York City’s Fifth Ave. At 190 years old, Lord & Taylor is one of the oldest chain stores in 190 years of serving customers across the country. But the chain has struggled to reach today’s younger buyers

Macy’s is next with 11 store closings scheduled. Macy’s closed around 70 of its department stores in 2017 and started off 2018 by announcing it would shut down nearly dozen more.

The company says it wants to focus on its stores that are top moneymakers, and on its website. Macy’s has a strong presence online and is hungry to win over more shoppers there.

This one may be surprising only in the novelty that they lasted as long as they did with such a specific product line, Crocs.

Crocs the company that makes the colorful rubbery clogs with holes closed 558 stores last year and plans to close another 47 stores in 2018.

At number 23 is J. Crew with 50 store closings scheduled  this year.

J.Crew execs say the preppy clothing chain has been hard hit by the lack of traffic in malls which is where most of their stores are. That number of closings is nearly double what the chain had earlier predicted for the year.

With 60 store closings scheduled Abercrombie & Fitch is next on the list. The teen retailer known for their torn jeans and nearly nude models is closing down stores in mall locations to focus more on online sales

Sams Club is next with 63 stores scheduled to close in 2018. 12 of the locations will be turned into warehouses to store online merchandise for Walmart their parent company

KMart  is on tap to close another 82 Stores. KMart’s owner Sears says the discount chain is a money loser and more efforts are going into online sales.

The company that owns struggling Sears also owns the gasping Kmart discount chain. It’s shutting down another 82 (the number keeps growing!) Kmart stores this year because they’re not making money.

Claire’s, the retailer that sales jewelry and accessories for teen girls has 92 stores scheduled for closing. The store closings were announced as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in March.

Claire’s, the retailer that keeps teenage girls well-accessorized in bangles and bling, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March and said it would close 92 of its stores this spring.

Even grocery stores have felt the pinch of changing buying trends. Winn Dixie & Bi Low both a part of Southeastern Grocers are closing 94 stores this year.

Brookstone is a story of closing and reinvention. The shops known for selling massage chairs and high tech gadgets has filed for bankruptcy and is closing all 102 Stores in its mall locations. The smaller airport locations will all remain open. Brookstone execs say downsizing to a smaller footprint and moving out of malls and into airports was the companies best way to recover from loosing business to online retailers and plummeting foot traffic and sales at its mall locations.

Foot Locker is closing 110 stores in what the company says are locations that are  “starting to deteriorate.” Foot Locker plans to open 40 new stores however including a new Champs Sports flagship store in New York’s Times Square.

Sears whose suffered more than a decade of declining sales and plummeting stock prices began the year closing 39 stores. Another 11 stores were scheduled for closing by Spring, and just a few weeks ago Sears announced and 62 stores will be closed within the year.

Guess stores have been doing better overseas than in the U.S. So by the end of 2018, Guess will be closing another 120 Stores in the states.

Guess? is doing better overseas than in the U.S., so the fashion retailer is guessing that cutting way back on its American stores will be good for business

Vitamin World is next with 124 Stores on the chopping block. Michal Kors, the high end fashion designer is shutting down 125 more stores despite the company’s stock prices that have surged in recent months. Industry insiders say Kors is restructuring and making changes fast enough to reset their course.

If you’re counting were at number eleven, The Children’s Place with a 144 Stores scheduled to close. Store execs say they’re closing stores but expanding sales on Amazon and internationally.

Theres a tie for next place for a total of 200 store closings. Gap and Banana Republic both staples in local malls and both feeling the effects of slumping sales. The stores are retooling however for a bigger push in online sales, and the company is opening almost 300 new stores for its growing brands, Old Navy and Athleta.

GNC is the other company in a tie at 200 store closings. The vitamin company says the double hit of mall locations and Amazon was too much to stay a float.

Here’s one you may most have heard of. Signet Jewelers is another company in a tie) with 200 Stores scheduled to close. Signet is the company behind many of the big jewelry chains found in malls, including Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, and Piercing Pagoda. 75% of the store closings are in mall locations, but Signet says they’re planning a big push in online retailing.

At number seven is Best Buy Mobile with 250 Stores closing.

Electronics big-box chain Best Buy has decided to shut down all 250 of its smallest phone only stores located primarily in malls.  not-so-big Best Buy Mobile stores found in malls.

After 160 years Bon -Ton is closing all of its 260 Stores. The family of department stores also includes the Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers chains.

And despite Starbucks having one of the most successful chains, the same is not true of its Teevea brand. Starbucks tried a store redesign to jump start interest and sales, but it didn’t work, all 379 Teevea stores are scheduled to close.

Subway is next with 500 Stores closing. The result of too many stores too close together according to company execs. Industry insiders say while Subway is still massive with more than 44,000 stores world wide, the chain is struggling to offer customers anything different than what they’ve gotten for at least a decade.

The Subway chain of sandwich shops is slimming down. After closing more than 900 stores last year, the company says it wants to shut down around 500 more of its U.S. locations in 2018.

Next is Ann Taylor, Loft and Dressbarn with a 547 Stores scheduled to close. Falling sales and high commercial rents have been big problems for the retailer.

Rite Aid  is next with 600 Stores scheduled to close.

And at number one was the 735 Toys R Us that closed their doors for good just a few months ago.

Industry experts say the number of large chain closings emphasize the need for stores to adapt quickly to changing buying trends, focusing on online sales, and update their merchandise and marketing are the take aways from the list of who didn’t make the cut.