Clothing Chains, Including Old Navy, Are Closing Stores, Starting Today
Several popular retailers are shuttering locations in the coming weeks.
Abandoned storefronts have become a common sight across the U.S. over the last few years, and even as the economy's improved, the trend's not over yet. In fact, clothing companies have already contributed significantly to the ongoing retail apocalypse at the start of 2023. Throughout January, popular retailers like J.Crew, Maurices, and Talbots have already shuttered stores in various parts of the country. Now, more are joining the fray. Major clothing chains, including Old Navy and Banana Republic, are closing locations, starting today. Read on to find out more about these closures.
Shoppers are spending less on clothing these days.
Retailers have been steadily closing stores for a number of reasons since 2020. But given recent reports, it's no surprise that clothing stores in particular have been paring down their retail footprints.
The Department of Commerce said that retail sales fell 1.1 percent in December, with a decline in sales at clothing stores being a contributing factor, according to The New York Times. A recent shopper insight survey from sales and marketing services provider Acosta found that 67 percent of consumers say they are spending less on items like clothing—the highest drop for any category.
"The economic challenges of the past year will continue to impact consumer behavior in 2023, providing overarching context for what shoppers most care about and how they want to shop," Kathy Risch, senior vice president of consumer insights and trends at Acosta said in a statement, per Winsight Grocery Business.
Certain consumers looking to spend some money on clothes, however, will soon have slightly fewer options.
Old Navy is closing stores this month.
With just a day's notice, Old Navy shoppers are losing a store in a major city. The clothing company announced on Jan. 23 that would be closing a location in Chicago the very next day, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
"Our Old Navy State Street location will close end of day on Tuesday, 1/24," a spokesperson for the company told the newspaper in an email.
The State Street Old Navy has been at its "prime corner location" since Nov. 2012, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Prior to that, it had been occupying another building on the same street just a few blocks since 1998, CBS News reported. But there are no plans to relocate the store this time around.
"We regularly and thoughtfully review our real estate to support the best path forward for our brand and Gap Inc.," an Old Navy spokesperson said in a statement to Best Life.
And that's not the only Old Navy closure coming up. The company also plans to close its store in Solon, Ohio, this month, Cleveland.com reported in December. A spokesperson for Old Navy previously told Best Life that the Solon store would "close at the end of Jan. 2023," but did not provide a specific day. The location still appears open as of Jan. 24, according to the company's website.
Another chain is also shuttering stores, starting today.
Old Navy is not the only retailer closing a store on Jan. 24. Banana Republic has also confirmed that it is closing one of its locations in Michigan today, MLive.com reported. According to the news outlet, the chain is shuttering its store at the Woodland Mall in Kentwood, Michigan.
"Though we are sad to say goodbye to Banana Republic, we are excited to continue diversifying the retail mix and investing in ways to create a premium shopping experience at Woodland Mall," Mikia Ross, interim senior marketing director at the mall, told MLive.com in a statement.
And there are more Banana Republic locations closing today. A spokesperson for the company previously confirmed to Best Life that this is also the "last day of business" for Banana Republic stores located at the Stamford Town Center in Stamford, Connecticut, and the Shoppes at Shoppes at Susquehanna in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Another location in Chicago was recently shuttered on Jan. 17.)
"We continue to thoughtfully analyze our real estate strategy to support the best path forward," a spokesperson said in a new statement to Best Life. "In October 2020, Gap Inc. shared plans to close approximately 350 of Gap and Banana Republic stores across North America by the end of 2023, with the goal of having a smaller and healthier fleet of stores. The closure of Stamford, Harrisburg, and Chicago are in support of these efforts."
A spokesperson previously confirmed to us that the Kentwood closure is part of Gap Inc.'s ongoing reduction efforts.
Children's clothing is taking a hit as well.
While Old Navy and Banana Republic sell children's clothing, they mostly cater to adults. But The Children's Place, which is an apparel store dedicated solely to clothing for babies and children, is closing at least one store soon, too, the Dayton Daily News first reported.
A store employee at The Children's Place in Huber Heights, Ohio, told the newspaper that the location will permanently shut its doors on Feb. 23.
The Huber Heights store, which is now holding a closing sale of 60 percent off all merchandise, is "part of a series of closures by the national chain," according to the Dayton Daily News. In a Nov. 2022 press release reporting its third quarter sales, The Children's Place said it has closed 541 stores since 2013 and is now "planning to close between 40 t0 50" more stores.
Best Life reached out to the company for more insight on upcoming closures, but has not yet heard back.