Fung Global Retail & Technology tracks store openings and closings for a select group of US retailers.
During this past week, we revised the number of stores that Bebe Stores Inc. intends to close to 168 from 170, which represents its entire store fleet. The retailer previously announced that they were committed to closing 21 stores and are now reported to be closing all. In addition, fashion brand Jimmy Choo has put itself up for sale. It has begun the process of searching for a buyer, but has yet to receive an offer. Jimmy Choo has 38 directly owned stores in the US, which represent about 25% of the total number of its stores. Finally, pursuant to Eastern Outfitters’ potential deal with Sports Direct International plc which we reported on in Tracker #3, we have confirmed that the UK retailer has acquired the beleaguered Eastern Outfitters for $101 million in cash. The deal will include around 50 Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports stores that remained after an earlier round of closures. We have adjusted the number of store closings for Eastern Outfitters accordingly.
The majority of retailers that have been closing stores fall within the department store and specialty retail categories. Primary reasons include: 1) declining mall traffic; 2) reconfiguration of store networks as retailers shift online; and 3) cutting losses from unprofitable stores.
Among the retailers we track, Sephora announced plans to extend its store-in-store footprint within JCPenney by opening 70 new locations, bringing the total count of Sephora shops in JCPenney to 650 by the end of the year. Sephora remains confident with its physical footprint and the competitive advantage its stores offer by providing consumers with a comprehensive beauty experience.
Value-driven retail concepts such as discount and fast fashion have been aggressive in expanding their store footprint, despite the difficult retail environment. Categories such as beauty and athleisure are outperforming the market, which is evident in their footprint expansion over the past 15 months.