The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented set of difficulties for the retail industry. Even companies that are household names have found themselves struggling to survive amid a health crisis that has shuttered shops nationwide. Now, iconic fashion chain Victoria's Secret has announced that they will be closing up to 50 stores before the end of the year. Read on to see what this means for the legendary brand in the coming months, and for more on fellow fashion labels that are struggling to make it, check out This Popular Clothing Store Is Closing at Least 200 Locations.
L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret, announced on Feb. 24 that it would be closing between 30 and 50 of its locations in 2021 amid foundering sales, USA Today reports. This is the second year in a row to see significant store shutdowns after the brand announced the permanent closure of nearly 250 shops in May of 2020.
L Brands, which also owns Bath&Body Works, has said that it still intends to spin off the foundering fashion brand as its own company in the coming months. Original plans to sell the brand off from their portfolio to New York City-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners fell through as the coronavirus pandemic hit.
But there was at least some good news from the parent company. According to a quarterly earnings report posted on their website, L Brands also announced that it plans to open 49 new Bath&Body Works stores in the U.S. and one in Canada at "almost entirely off-mall" locations.
Unfortunately, Victoria's Secret is far from the only retailer experiencing financial woes at the hands of the COVID pandemic. Read on for more brands that have shuttered shops lately, and for more on iconic companies that are struggling to survive, check out This Iconic Department Store Is Filing For Bankruptcy.
Fry’s Electronics has been a chain beloved for its themed electronics stores featuring over-the-top displays since opening their doors in 1985. But on Feb. 24, the company abruptly announced that it would begin shutting down operations immediately, even going so far as to redirect their website to a letter that stated the brand had “ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process” that same day.
“After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the company announced in a statement.
“Over the past year, we have moved aggressively to address COVID-related challenges head-on…We look forward to working collaboratively with our landlords to achieve partnerships that make economic sense in this current retail environment and best position our marquee brand's boutique offering for years to come,” said L’Occitane North America Managing Director Yann Tanini in a statement. And for more on other shops that are beginning to disappear, check out This Iconic Fashion Brand Is Starting to Shut Down Stores.
Toys R Us
Childhood mainstay Toys R Us closed 700-plus locations in 2018 after filing for bankruptcy just months earlier. However, two locations of the popular toy retailer were able to stay open thanks to a purchase agreement with new parent company Tru Kids. But in early 2021, Tru Kids announced that it would permanently shut down the iconic toy company’s last two stores. "As a result of COVID-19, we made the strategic decision to pivot our store strategy to new locations and platforms that have better traffic," a Tru Kids spokesperson told CNN Business.
Beloved chocolatier Godiva made headlines in January when it announced plans to shutter all of its 128 stateside locations after 95 years in operation. Fortunately for fans of their sweet treats, the company announced it will still sell its confections in the U.S. through supermarkets, pharmacies, and department stores, among other retailers.
“We are making it even easier for our consumers to enjoy Godiva, whether that’s by treating themselves or gifting, so that everyone can have access to our premium chocolate,” said Godiva CEO Nurtac Afridi. And for more on restaurants that are struggling amid COVID closures, check out This Popular Pizza Chain Just Filed for Bankruptcy.