Retail Stores Downsized or Out of Business in 2012

Sears, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch Store Closing History, Economic Trends

eprinted with permisssion from Blockbuster.com

*** BREAKING STORE CLOSING NEWS JANUARY 16 2016:  Click for Walmart, Kmart, JCPenney, Sears Store Closings >>

Since the U.S. retail industry comprises more than 60% of the U.S. GDP overall, closing or liquidating retail stores are generally viewed to be key indicators of U.S. economic health.  But because of the radical shift in consumer behaviors, recent history has not necessarily proven that brick-and-mortar store closings have a negative economic impact and vice versa.

  

For instance, 2011 was a year of expansion for the U.S. retail industry, even though it was a year of instability for the U.S. economy. Measured by store openings and closings, it was hoped that the retail industry expansion would continue in 2012. But when major U.S. retail chains like Sears, Blockbuster, The Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch announced triple-digit store closing plans for 2012, it seemed to indicate trouble for retail sales and a backward step for the U.S. economy. In fact, this was not the case, and the U.S. GDP grew by 2.2% despite a massive number of Going Out of Business sales that year.  

With the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent that the large number of 2012 retail store closings in the Sears, Blockbuster, The Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch retail chains had less to do with the shifting of consumer fortunes and more to do with the shifts in consuming preferences and the mammoth retail companies that couldn't keep pace.

When it refused to adopt discount pricing strategies during the Great Recession, Abercrombie & Fitch alienated a significant portion of its customer base. Sears and The Gap both struggled with merchandise mix and pricing for years before 2012 and had also lost their strong customer bases in the process.

Blockbuster's closings were an inevitable result of the shifting preferences toward online and digital viewing of movies, TV shows, and recorded video content. Netflix and Redbox have also stolen Blockbuster customers with convenience and extremely low prices.

While the total number of store closings that happened in the 2012 calendar year seems relatively insignificant when compared to previous economic recession and recovery years, they continued throughout the year and they were not insignificant.  The shift to Internet and mobile shopping was trending even before 2012, causing the demand for brick and mortar store shopping to trend lower even in the years before 2012. The largest U.S. retail chains had little choice besides downsizing to match consumer preferences, and they continue to downsize in 2016 as leases expire and less profitable locations are identified and closed down.

What follows is a complete roundup list of retail chains that closed stores, downsized, or went out of business completely in the 2012 calendar year, for research and historical purposes.

 For the current 2016 Complete Store Closings Roundup List, click here >>
ARCHIVED FROM 2012 - The number in the left column is the total number of stores that were closed as part of downsizing, liquidation, or going out of business efforts in the U.S. retail industry in 2012. Information for this 2012 Store Closing List was obtained from reports made available to the general public through news reports, corporate documents, and company press releases.

This Store Closings list is arranged numerically according to the number of store closings. The most recent additions are indicated in bold lettering. This list was last updated on 9-18-12.

Scroll down to see the same list, arranged alphabetically.

2012 Retail Store Closings Roundup

600  Fashion Bug (through early 2013)

500  Blockbuster
Click for all Blockbuster closing locations in 2012 >>

180  Abercrombie & Fitch ("over the next few years")

172  Sears
2016 UPDATE:  All Sears Store Closings >>

137  Ritz Camera & Image / Wolf Camera

123  Collective Brands (Payless, Stride Rite) by 2013

120  Pacific Sunwear

113  Food Lion

103  Christopher & Banks (starting in Q4 2011)

100  Family Dollar

100  The Gap

96    Avenue

93    Esprit

76    USA Drug / Super D / Drug Warehouse / May's / Med-X

70    Casual MaleXL

63    Betsey Johnson

55    Ascena Retail (dressbarn, marices, Justice)

50    Best Buy

50    T.J. Maxx (U.S., Canada, and Europe)

40    Catherine's (Charming Shoppes)

35    Office Max

30    Coldwater Creek

25    Beauty 360

25    Lane Bryant (Charming Shoppes)

25    Sonic

24    Ruby Tuesday (Marlin & Ray’s, Wok Hay, Truffles Grill, Lime Fresh)

22    77kids

19    Daffy's

14    United Carpets

13    Cato

12    Fred's

11    Sara Lee Outlets

8      Bill's BBQ

6      Bottom Dollar

6      Waldbaums

5      Carl's Patio

5      Hallmark

5      Pathmark

5      Shoe Carnival

4      Macaroni Grill

4      Mandee

3      A&P

3      Bloom

3      Genuardi

3      Loupot's

3      Wise Buys

2      All Sports

2      C&C Kids

2      CVS

2      Disney Stores

2      O'Boys Bar-B-Q

2      Raley's

2      Rochester Clothing

2      Traditions Bookstore

1      Ace Hardware

1      Aldi

1      American Eagle

1      Ann Taylor

1      Bang & Olufsen

1      Ben Franklin Crafts

1      Bloomingdale's

1      Bon-Ton

1      Casey's General Store

1      Dolan's Lumber

1      Family Video

1      Harley Davidson

1      Home Depot

1      Homeland

1      Hot & Crusty

1      IGA

1      Jewel

1      Jewel-Osco

1      Kroger

1      La-Z-Boy Furniture

1      Learning Express

3      Marsh Supermarkets

1      Maytag Appliance Store

1      Menards

1      Miller's Super Valu

1      Napa Auto Parts

1      Nordstrom

2      Old Navy

1      Payless Shoe Source

1      Pottery Barn

1      Price Cutter

2      Ralph's

1      Saks

1      Stein Mart

1      Stop 'n Shop

1      Stride Rite

60    SuperValu (Albertson's / ACME / Save-A-Lot)

1      Talbot's

1      Toys 'R Us

1      True Value Hardware

1      Valu King

1      Vann's

1      Harley Walgreens

1      Wet Seal

2012 U.S. Retail Industry Store Closings - Complete Alphabetical Listing

22    77kids

3      A&P

180  Abercrombie & Fitch ("over the next few years")

1      Ace Hardware

1      Aldi

2      All Sports

1      American Eagle

1      Ann Taylor

96    Avenue

1      Bang & Olufsen

25    Beauty 360

1      Ben Franklin Crafts

50    Best Buy

63    Betsey Johnson

8      Bill's BBQ

3      Bloom

55    Ascena Retail (dressbarn, marices, Justice)

500  Blockbuster
Click for all Blockbuster closing locations in 2012 >>

7      Bloom

1      Bloomingdale's

1      Bon-Ton

6      Bottom Dollar

5      Carl's Patio

1      Casey's General Store

70    Casual MaleXL

40    Catherine's (Charming Shoppes)

13    Cato

2      C&C Kids

103  Christopher & Banks (starting in Q4 2011)

30    Coldwater Creek

123  Collective Brands (Payless, Stride Rite) by 2013

2      CVS

19    Daffy's

2      Disney Stores

1      Dolan's Lumber

93    Esprit

100  Family Dollar

1      Family Video

600  Fashion Bug (through early 2013)

113  Food Lion

12    Fred's

100  The Gap

3      Genuardi

5      Hallmark

1      Harley Davidson

1      Home Depot

1      Homeland

1      Hot & Crusty

1      IGA

1      Jewel

1      Jewel-Osco

1      Kroger

25    Lane Bryant (Charming Shoppes)

1      La-Z-Boy Furniture

1      Learning Express

3      Loupot's

4      Macaroni Grill

4      Mandee

3      Marsh Supermarkets

1      Maytag Appliance Store

1      Menards

1      Miller's Super Valu

1      Napa Auto Parts

1      Nordstrom

2      O'Boys Bar-B-Q

35    Office Max

2      Old Navy

120  Pacific Sunwear

5      Pathmark

1      Payless Shoe Source

1      Pottery Barn

1      Price Cutter

2      Raley's

1      Ralph's

137  Ritz Camera & Image / Wolf Camera

2      Rochester Clothing

24    Ruby Tuesday (Marlin & Ray’s, Wok Hay, Truffles Grill, Lime Fresh)

1      Saks

11    Sara Lee Outlets

172  Sears
Click for all U.S. Sears store closing locations in 2012 >>

5      Shoe Carnival

25    Sonic

1      Stein Mart

1      Stop 'n Shop

1      Stride Rite

60    SuperValu (Albertson's / ACME / Save-A-Lot)

1      Talbot's

50    T.J. Maxx (U.S., Canada, and Europe)

1      Toys 'R Us

2      Traditions Bookstore

1      True Value Hardware

76    USA Drug / Super D / Drug Warehouse / May's / Med-X

14    United Carpets

1      Valu King

1      Van's

6      Waldbaums

1      Walgreens

1      Wet Seal

3      Wise Buys

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