Unofficially called the ‘retail apocalypse,’ 2017 is a bad year for fashion brands so far.
From boutiques to department stores, thousands of mall-based retail locations are ceasing operations in a giant wave of mass closures and bankruptcies. As many retailers embrace e-commerce and move away from the brick-and-mortar model, here’s a look at some of the biggest brands of the last few decades that are — or may soon be — closing up shop for good.
SEARS According to Business Insider, the company will close 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears stores by April 2017. which makes up 10 per cent of Sears’ store base. (Mike Mozart/Creative Commons) Bebe The California-based retailer had 180 stores at the end of 2016, and announced that it would close them all by May 2017. (Phillip Pessar/Creative Commons) Ralph Lauren The iconic American brand announced in June 2016 it would cut about 1,000 jobs and close 50 stores. In April 2017, the label said it was closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. (Nicole Beauchamp/Creative Commons) Kit and Ace Founded in 2014, the Vancouver-based brand said in April 2017 that it would cease operations in the U.K., U.S. and Australia. (Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images) Payless ShoeSource On April 5, the Kansas-based retailer announced it was closing nearly 400 stores. It currently has over 4,400 stores in 30 countries. (Mike Mozart/Creative Commons) Guess In mid-March, the jeansmaker announced that it planned to close 60 stores by the end of 2017. This is in addition 62 store closures in the last two years. (Clotee Pridgen Allochuku/Creative Commons) American Apparel The company announced it would close all its 110 stores including its Los Angeles headquarters by the end of April 2017. (EG Focus/Creative Commons) Abercrombie & Fitch In March 2017, the brand announced it was closing a further 60 U.S. stores. This would reduce A&F’s store count to roughly 670 stores this year from 839 only five years ago. (Herry Lawford/Creative Commons) BCBG Max Azria After filing for bankruptcy protection on March 1, the company is closing 120 of the 175 stores in the U.S. and all 51 BCBG Max Azria stores in Canada. (Josh Hallet/Creative Commons) Macy’s Macy’s announced in January 2017 that it would shut down 68 stores as part of a larger plan to close about 100 stores — 15% of its store base — over the next couple of years. (Mike Mozart/Creative Commons) Express Inc. The American retailer announced May 4 that it’s closing its 17 Canadian stores in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. (Mike Mozart/Creative Commons)