Thursday, June 19, 2008

Momma Needs a New Pair of Shoes...

...but where the hell am I going to buy them?

In a stunning accounting of the fallout of this recession in the retail sector, Donald H has listed a staggering 2,179 store closings for this year. Here's a partial list:

    1. Ann Taylor closing 117 stores nationwide A company spokeswoman said the
      company hasn't revealed which stores will be shuttered. It will let the stores
      that will close this fiscal year know over the next month.
    2. Eddie Bauer to close more stores - Eddie Bauer has already closed 27 shops in the first quarter and plans to close up to two more outlet stores by the end of the year.
    3. Cache closing stores - Women's retailer Cache announced that it is closing 20 to 23 stores this year.
    4. Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines closing 150 stores nationwide The owner of retailers Lane Bryant , Fashion Bug , Catherines Plus Sizes will close about 150 underperforming stores this year. The company hasn't provided a list of specific store closures and can't say when it will offer that info, spokeswoman Brooke Perry said today.
    5. Talbots, J. Jill closing stores - About a month ago, Talbots announced that it will be shuttering all 78 of its kids and men's stores. Now the company says it will close another 22 underperforming stores.The 22 stores will be a mix of Talbots women's and J. Jill, another chain it owns. The closures will occur this fiscal year, according to a company press release.
    6. Gap Inc. closing 85 stores - In addition to its namesake chain, Gap also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic. The company said the closures - all planned for fiscal 2008 - will be weighted toward the Gap brand. [ ... ]

The list of top-flight brands shuttering some or all of their doors amazed me, particularly with the running commentary from the news pundits and economists on whether or not we're in a recession.

Some of my fellow consultants who butter their bread in the retail industry have been singing the blues for quite some time. Now I can see why.