23 Retailers Shuttering Stores Across Country... Some We're Glad to See Go


At one point in American history, the mall was viewed as the pinnacle of the shopping experience. It was a gleaming, concrete monument to the wonders of capitalism — and the fact that ticked off the anti-consumerist was half the fun.

Change is eternal, however, and with online shopping and changing American living patterns, malls and big box stores are quickly becoming a thing of the past. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. What is surprising is just how quickly the change is occurring.

In the wake of increased competition from Amazon and other online retailers, 23 major retailers have announced that they’re closing up some of their outlets. Here are just a few, culled from the folks at Fox Business.

Abercrombie and Fitch

It’s kind of hard to summon up sepia-tinged nostalgia for A&F on my end; between the pre-frayed bro-magnon fashions that cost five times what they should have and the effluvium of cheap, citrusy cologne that seemed to infect every cubic inch of air within a twenty-yard radius of the store, my best memory of that horrid chain was the unintentionally-hilarious line from LFO’s ridiculous 1999 hit “Summer Girls” in which one of the faceless members of the one-hit-wonder informs us that “I like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch.” Of course, this was probably because the store’s catalog was little more than softcore pornography.

North Dakota Republican Killed in Plane Crash, Along with His Wife and 2 Kids

However, I suppose fraternity members have to buy clothes from somewhere, and they’re going to have a lot less choice thanks to the online economy. The company announced “during its fourth quarter earnings call that it would close as many as 60 U.S. stores in 2018 through expiring leases, while also adding 11 U.S.-based full price store locations.”

They’re also going to focus on “direct-to-consumer” efforts (read: online shopping), so at least you don’t have to suffer through that cheap cologne smell.


You may not be surprised after my low-key invective against Abercrombie and Fitch that I’m also not a huge fan of Bebe. However, the trendy women’s clothier has closed all 168 of its remaining American stores since last year, which isn’t exactly making retail great again.

Are you sad to see these stores go?


Rue21 is yet another trendy teen clothing outlet which is experiencing problems due to the shifting economic conditions. It announced the closure of up to 400 of its 1,100 locations last April and promptly filed for bankruptcy in May.

American Apparel

Oh, speaking of softcore porn, there’s also American Apparel, whose facile commitment to making its clothes in America was distinctly undermined by genuinely creepy ads which also brought attention upon its even creepier CEO.


Former ESPN Star Takes Flamethrower to 'The View': The Show Is 'Despicable'

So, all right, you might say — sex sells. That’s nothing new. What’s different about American Apparel?

Well, what’s different is Dov Charney, the charming CEO who was behind the company. Unlike many CEOs, Charney personally directed the advertising campaigns his company foisted upon the general public. It’s easy to see how his, um, interest in hypersexualizaiton in advertising may not have been just a pecuniary one. After he was sacked from the company over an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations, Charney was asked if he regretted his behavior. “Not at all!” he responded. “Sleeping with people you work with is UNAVOIDABLE!”

So, apparently, is autoeroticizing yourself in front of female reporters, which Charney did twice during a 2004 interview with journalist Claudine Ko. He would later rationalize his behavior in the grossest possible way imaginable: “Masturbation in front of women is underrated,” Charney told Ko during a phone conversation. “It’s much easier on the woman. She gets to watch, it’s a sensual experience that doesn’t involve a man violating a woman, yet once the man has his release, it’s over and you can talk to the guy.” Or get away and file a police report, one or the other.

The company closed all of its 110 locations in the United States last year after years of financial problems and was acquired by a Canadian firm for $88 million. Presumably, the new owners do not endorse onanism in the presence of female reporters, or anyone really.


Of all of the mass closures mentioned here, this is inarguably the least surprising. I haven’t been in a RadioShack in at least five years, and not only did I not find a single thing I wanted or needed, it smelled like a combination of mothballs and my grandfather’s basement. I’m pretty sure they still had some Tandy Computers for sale in the back room, if you really wanted one. Regardless, the poster child for not keeping up with market trends in any way, shape or form has suffered mightily because of it, closing 1,100 of its stores earlier this year. The retailer now only operates 70 stores, from which you can presumably buy a Tandy if you really want one.


Another struggling relic of the 1970s and 1980s, both Sears and Kmart are in serious trouble, with Sears closing 300 locations and Kmart closing 35 last year.


Macy’s has also been having problems (and not just because it’s been busy dissing The Donald). In August of 2016, the department store announced it would be shuttering 100 locations, 81 of which have been announced thus far. Earlier this month, the retailer also announced 5,000 layoffs and seven more store closures.

Other stores that are seeing significant closures: Aerosoles, BCBG, Bon-Ton, The Children’s Place, CVS, Foot Locker, Guess, Gymboree, Hhgregg, J.Crew, J.C. Penney, The Limited, Michael Kors, Payless, Toys R’ Us and Wet Seal.

The times, they are a’ changin’, and at least we have a decent economy to soften the blow. However, the idea that the mall — so omnipresent in the American consciousness for so long — may be going the way of the milkman and the rolodex is difficult to believe.

It’s a brave new world out there. And, for what it’s worth, it’s a brave new world where we don’t have to smell that darned Abercrombie and Fitch cologne.

Please like and share this story on Facebook and Twitter with your thoughts on these store closures.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , ,
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture