This Iconic Children's Brand Is Closing Stores Nationwide
A major restructuring is underway at Carter's and OshKosh B’Gosh, with more than 200 stores closing.
The ongoing economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to roil retailers, and this week, it's a much-loved, long-standing children's clothing brand that's taking a hit. Carters, which includes Carter's stores and OshKosh B'Gosh brands, just made the announcement that around 35 percent of the company's stores would close as leases come up for renewal. That translates to over 200 Carters locations closing for good. Read on to learn more, and for another recent closure, This Beloved Coffee Chain Just Announced It's Filed Bankruptcy.
"Nearly 60 percent of those closures may occur by the end of the year," Carters CEO and chairman Michael Casey said on an earnings call on Oct. 23. "And 80 percent of those closures are planned by the end of 2022. These are generally older, lower margin stores in declining centers and less likely to support our focus on high-value omnichannel customers." In short, the company is going to focus its stores in busier, high-footfall areas.
Carters operates around 850 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico under the Carter's and OshKosh B'Gosh brands. The company dates back to 1865 and is the largest branded marketer of baby and children's clothing in the U.S.
Despite its long history, the realities of lockdown have hit Carters just as they've hit other companies—on the earnings call, Casey detailed how sales in July were at 90 percent of the previous year, while August tracked at 87 percent. "With children starting their school year learning virtually at home, there was less of a need to shop for back-to-school outfits," he said.
Casey also pointed out that stores that historically benefited from tourist customers saw the largest decline in traffic.
However, there are some positive signs ahead for the company: With the e-commerce sales holding up, plans are afoot to open nearly 100 co-branded Carter's–OshKosh stores between now and 2025. "Our focus is fewer, better, more profitable stores located close to the consumer that have a higher likelihood of serving those omnichannel consumers," Casey said. "Those who love to shop online and swing by the store and pick up the product." Read on for others beloved brands that have fallen victim to COVID, and for another kind of company closing up shop, check out This Popular Gym Is Closing All of Its Locations.
Lord & Taylor
At the end of the summer, nearly 200-year-old department store Lord & Taylor announced that it would be closing all of its 38 stores for good following its bankruptcy filing. "We believe it is prudent to simultaneously put the remainder of the stores into liquidation to maximize value of inventory for the estate while pursuing options for the company's brands," Ed Kremer, the company's chief restructuring office, said in a statement.
H&M announced on Oct. 1 that it would be closing 250 of its 5,076 stores around the globe due to its massive loss in sales amid the lockdowns. "More and more customers started shopping online during the pandemic," the company said in a statement. "Although the challenges are far from over, we believe that the worst is behind us and we are well placed to come out of the crisis stronger," H&M CEO Helena Helmersson said in a statement. And for another iconic brand in trouble, check out This Beloved Beauty Brand Is Closing Stores Nationwide.
After 195 years in business, it was reported in early October that British shoe brand Clarks would be closing many of its stores. In September, the Boston Globe reported that Clarks could be closing up to a quarter of its U.S. retail stores by the end of 2021, knocking the number of stateside locations down from 214 to "somewhere in the mid-100s," according to Clarks Americas president Gary Champion. "We overextended our brick-and-mortar portfolio," he explained. The number of store closures has not been confirmed by Clarks.
Neiman Marcus cited the "unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic" as a major factor for its decision to file for bankruptcy in May. After closing 22 of its U.S. locations, Neiman Marcus emerged from the bankruptcy process in September. And for another store that didn't come out of the pandemic as strong, check out This Cult Favorite Store Is Closing All U.S. Locations.
Nordstrom announced that it would be closing 16 of its department stores in May, according to CNBC. However, its Nordstrom Rack locations remain unaffected and 100 of the company's department stores are still standing.
Discount department store Stein Mart, which was founded in 1908, filed for bankruptcy in August and it didn't take long for the company to announce its intentions to close all 280 retail locations. And for more news on your favorite stores, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Century 21, an iconic regional department store in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, announced in September that its 13 locations would be shutting down. "Our insurers, to whom we have paid significant premiums every year for protection against unforeseen circumstances like we are experiencing today, have turned their backs on us at this most critical time," Century 21 co-CEO Raymond Gindi said in a strongly worded statement. And for another shutdown to be aware of, This Beloved Home Store Is Closing More Than Half of Its Locations.