7 Retailers Transitioning to 2017 in a Tailspin

It’s cutting season, the time of year that retailers begin to really start cutting back on underperforming stores,but this year there is far more going on then just poor store management behind these store closures.

Below is a chart of store closures that have been announced so far happening in 2017, though time can change, here is where we stand today:


Polo Ralph Lauren-

The Problem:

I wonder if finding Polo on this list is as much of a surprise to you as it is to me, though their situation is one that is understandable.   35% may also seem like a high off putting ratio of store closures, but this number does not include his outlet locations (272 locations) or his newer successful line Club Monaco (77 locations)  Ralph Lauren’s primary issue is the wide span his product reaches.  In one mall you can find Polo products in nearly five different locations.   When the product doesn’t sell in one of the locations that are not his name sake the unsold product is sent to TJ Maxx.  Considering his slow turnover of new product being on average ever 15 months, his newest product is now being sold for a quarter of the price elsewhere, so why pay for it in the Ralph Lauren location for full price?

The Plan: 

There will be a series of changes that will be occurring for Ralph Lauren, first and foremost closing mall locations that are in shopping centers that already carry his product, or just aren’t hitting their quarterly targets.  This amounts to 50 stores closed, losing 1,000 jobs.  Second, there will be an up in product turn over, the goal is to lower the time for turn over from 15 months to 9 months.  Lastly, the company has already condensed it’s styles by 33%, so that they can focus on quality and save where there is no real buyer.

Kenneth Cole20161125_122338.jpg

The Problem:

The announcement to start the six month process of closing all outlet locations was made November 11th, and by Black Friday the Good Buy Sale Signs were already up in the New Orleans Riverwalk Mall.  The problem here is uncertain as the company has not released any true explanation.  The very sudden drive to shut everything down and so quickly comes as quite a concern.  One anonymous contributor to Quora blames the hiring of their President of Retail Carol Massoni, saying she mismanaged it to the ground.  Other’s are using this closure as another opportunity to point the fingers at the dominating Amazon.  Whatever the problem, Kenneth Cole is taking his business elsewhere.  I’m sure not too far from now, when the news of the closure expands, and the realization that the announcement was made on the 11th of November, that the more liberal politics will find someway to blame the election results.   Whatever the case, it’s happening.

The Solution:

Kenneth Cole Brand will still remain in most major retailers you already find his product, and more likely where you purchase his product to begin with.   They are expanding their market “globally”, meaning anywhere but the US.  They will also be focusing on fostering their e-commerce presence.  This all makes sense when trying to conserve money as a company, why invest in your own store operations when you can utilize the internet or outsource your sales?   Edward Gribbin, president of Alvanon (an apparel consulting company) tells us why not, “You might make money in the short term, but you lose touch with your consumer.” Not to mention losing a large amount of control of your company’s image.

Barnes & Noblesscreen-shot-2016-11-28-at-5-41-13-pm

The Problem:

Amazon Kindle.  The cost of Nook e-Readers.

The Solution:

New Store Prototype, New Affordable Tablet, fix internet glitches.   The most exciting news in this article is probably the all time low  amount of stores since the year 2000 that Barnes and Nobles will be shutting down.  Even more exciting is their new and exciting prototype store that will have a full kitchen and restaurant with beer and wine selection.   Also the newer Nook is supposed to be very comparable to Amazon’s best selling Kindle Fire, and B&N even matched their price of $49.99 a tablet.   I hope all this new change at once does not hurt their finally sustainable numbers.


The Problem:

Although Aeropostale is not alone in its struggles as a teen based retailer, they are particularly struggling in keeping ahead of fast fashion giants such as H&M and Forever21. What teen or teen mother really seeks quality over affordability these days? Though while Aeropostale’s sister company’s A&F and AE are starting to see rising numbers, Aeropostale continues to fall flat.

The Solution:

Aeropostale has filed Chapter 11 and are hoping to see more of a Wet Seal result in their filing, and less of a Sport’s Authority result.  After closing 154 locations they hope in 6 months to have a stronger, although smaller, money making machine.


The Problem:

Increased online shopping, decreased mall traffic.  Amazon is the culprit of choice when asking anyone about the demise of not only Macy’s but all major department stores.  Consumers aren’t coming out to malls as much as they once did before Amazon hit the market.

The Solution:

Macy’s of course will obviously continue to focus on expanding their e-commerce presence this is while experimenting with smaller store prototypes, and shaking up their product selection.   Out with the old in with the new, Macy’s is not only switching up their tenants but also welcoming a new CEO this upcoming February.

Additional Closures:

Sports Authority

The Problem: 

Competition was strong with Dick’s Sporting Goods taking over the Brick and Mortar sporting goods markets, and Amazon continuing to gain momentum.  In attempt to keep up Sports Authority began sinking insane amounts of money into their e-commerce and store remodels, money they already did not have in the first place.  Also why pay so much for products at a Sports Authority when you can head straight to an Under Armor or Nike store in your favorite mall?

The Solution:

There were high hopes that a filing of a Chapter 11 would pay off debt, and save jobs.  Instead they were forced to liquidate their business, closing many stores, and selling some shops and all intellectual property to Dicks Sporting Goods.


The Problem:

Failed Prototype

The Solution:

Close all 102 express store locations so to focus more on their neighborhood markets, e-commerce, and super centers.   The biggest headache this has caused is for the city level government in DC who gave Wal-Mart permission to build 5 of their new concept shops in town, so long as at least two were in under-privelaged areas.  The company built three, you know where, and just before the final two were built they pulled out and jumped ship.   There are no growing pains for this corporate giant as they will be opening atlas 300 stores next year.

7 RetailersClosing Shop.png









13 thoughts on “7 Retailers Transitioning to 2017 in a Tailspin

  1. Wow so interesting. It seems as if a lot of the high dollar brands are failing now. My daughter works for JCP and they have closed so many stores too. I guess E-commerce is really taking over the world. It is so sad about book stores, I was so sad when Borders shut it down.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We just found out that the downtown Macy’s will be closing in Minneapolis. It wouldn’t really matter to us, except for that they had an annual Christmas display that has been a part of Minnesota Christmas since before the store was even Macy’s (it used to be Dayton’s). The ‘Dayton’s 8th Floor’ display has been a tradition for many families for decades. Sad. But I get it, because aside from at Christmas time, who shops there?!

    Liked by 1 person

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