Oh boy. This hasn’t been a good week for shoppers. Especially for women and children. Because the retail apocalypse claimed several popular brands in the first two days of the week.
Well, that’s an exaggeration. But, an effective one. And with several days left in this glorious 2nd week of June, we still have plenty of time to hear if another retail titan has been brought to its knees.
CT Post broke the news early yesterday morning that Gymboree is looking at closing up to 450 stores as it files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company also owns Janie & Jack and Crazy 8.
The affected locations are unknown. But, considering there’s stores all over Connecticut, it’s obvious a couple of those will be closing up shop soon.
In addition, Darien Daily Voice reported that companies like Ann Taylor and Dress Barn will also shutter several locations around the nation. Their parent company, Ascena, also owns Loft, Lane Bryant, Justice, Maurices and Catherines. Turns out that company plans to close up to 650 locations because of a nationwide reshuffling.
Well, that number could be lower if some-odd 400 companies manage to negotiate a lower rent. But, chances of that happening are pretty slim to none.
So, add these names to the pile that includes Bob’s Stores, Payless, GameStop, Radio Shack, JCPenney, Sears, Macy’s, and EMS. Yeah, that’s a pretty big pile. And it looks like it’ll only get bigger.
As of now, over a thousand different retail locations will close nationwide this year. Which means an untold amount of people will lose their jobs.
And, most companies blame the Internet for triggering the retail apocalypse. But, it could be a myriad of reasons why more people choose to shop online than in person.
It could be because more people work longer hours, which means less time to physically shop in stores. So, to make up for it, those people hit up online retailers or Amazon.com to buy what they need.
Others shop online out of convenience to avoid lines or agony in the parking lot.
That, or, people really love this whole free-shipping thing that several websites have going on.
Sure, talking heads can blame millennials for the chaos because they’re choosing avocado toast over buying themselves a Gucci purse or something. But, blame won’t stop the retail apocalypse. It’s already here and it’s taking everyone with it. Including the shopping bastions known as the American mall.
Economists predict that over 20% of malls will shut their doors in the next couple of years. It’s because their big anchor stores, like JCPenney and Sears, are failing.
Basically, the economy’s breaking down and evolving. But, no one really has any idea what gonna happen next. Or if it’ll be good or bad.
So, there’s a lot at stake and no one knows how to fix it. Thousands will lose their jobs over the next few years, major chains might consolidate or go out of business all together, and brick and mortar stores may become a thing of the past.
Pretty scary how the shopping norm fades a little more each year. Pretty soon it may be just a memory.
But should it?
Is shopping online the new norm? Will this save the retail industry or further damn it to more bankruptcy filings? Also, what does this mean for Connecticut? How badly will the retail apocalypse affect our infrastructure?
And who’s at fault?
Does anyone know?