Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018
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Retail

Apocalypse for retail: 3,500 stores closing in ’17

About 70 stores in Ohio set to shutter

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More than 3,500 stores could be closed within the year, in what some are coining the “retail apocalypse.”

The-Limited-Store-Closings

All locations — 250 in total — of The Limited closed by mid-January.

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Major retailers across the country have taken a hit as consumers shift their spending habits online in the age of e-commerce. In Ohio, at least 70 retail brick-and-mortar stores are set for closure, forcing thousands to look for new jobs.

Some closures started as early as late December, but most closures were announced in January after the holiday shopping season. Then, a barrage of other store closures followed in the coming months.

Some closures include:

All locations — 250 in total — of The Limited closed by mid-January in Ohio and across the United States. The closures affected up to 4,000 jobs nationwide. The brand, which had at least nine locations in Ohio, also shut down its retail website.

Family Christian, a Christian gift and bookstore chain, said it would close all 240 of its stores nationwide. The chain has 12 locations in Ohio.

RadioShack announced it was filing bankruptcy again, after filing in 2015. This time, the electronics retailer said it would close 552 stores, including more than 30 in Ohio.

J.C. Penney will close four stores in Ohio, including one in Findlay. The struggling retailer, which will operate 900 stores, cut its brick-and-mortar sites by 138, affecting 5,000 workers nationwide, including hundreds in Ohio.

Macy’s will close three stores in Ohio. 

Kmart will close six in the state; Sears will close four.

Other retailers such as Bebe, Crocs, GameStop, American Apparel, Guess, and Gander Mountain also will close stores nationwide. More locations could likely close in Ohio, but some retailers have not announced what locations will be affected by downsizing.

Gordon Gough, president and CEO of the Ohio Council for Retail Merchants, said some consumers are choosing to make transactions online. That affects the store footprint for various retailers and companies.

“When you’re talking about sales that go to online-only retailers that don’t have presence here, that’s a shift in consumer demand,” Mr. Gough said. “Will it have an impact on the local economies? Sure.”

In February, retail industry employment fell by 31,300 jobs from the previous month. However, February retail sales grew slightly, by just 0.2 percent compared to January, but  that was not reflected in many store sales.

Clothing, general merchandise, electronics, furniture, and sporting goods all lost sales compared to January. Some saw slight increases compared to the past year, according to the National Retail Federation.

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