Fashion retail in crisis: Top 15 companies that will have the most store closures in 2018

June 7, 2018

by Daphne Sorenson

Shopping habits have radically changed in the past 20 years. Online shopping is a trend that’s not only here to stay, it’s growing. And many retail companies that rely on brick-and-mortar stores for most of their sales have seen their business suffer as a result. The fashion retail business has been hit especially hard. Business Insider recently published a list of retailers that will close the most stores in 2018, and half of the companies on the list are retailers whose core business is fashion.

Trying on clothes and accessories in person and being able to bring home those purchases immediately may seem like the main reasons why people would want to do their fashion shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. But the reality is that many customers have been increasingly turned off by shopping in stores, for various reasons such as lousy customer service and the inconvenience of having to travel to a brick-and-mortar store. With many online retailers offering deep discounts, free shipping and convenient return policies, it’s easy to see why online shopping has become so attractive to consumers.

Here are the fashion retail companies that are facing the most closures in 2018, according to Business Insider. We’ve added Lord & Taylor to the list, since it recently announced that it will close several of its stores by early 2019.

September 14, 2018 UPDATE: Henri Bendel has been added to the list, since parent company L Brands Inc. has announced that it will close all 23 Henri Bendel stores by January 2019.

1. Ascena Retail Group (Parent company of Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant, Dress Barn, Catherines and Maurices)

Number of stores expected to close: 667

2. Gap Inc. (Parent company of Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Intermix, Weddington Way and Athleta)

Number of stores expected to close: 200

3. The Children’s Place

Number of stores expected to close: 144

4. Foot Locker

Number of stores expected to close: 110

5. Gymboree

Number of stores expected to close: 102

6. Abercrombie & Fitch (Parent company of Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie Kids and Hollister Co.)

Number of stores expected to close: 60

7. Michael Kors

Number of stores expected to close: 50

8. Crocs

Number of stores expected to close: 49

9. Bon-Ton

Number of stores expected to close: 42

10. Guess

Number of stores expected to close: 45

13. Henri Bendel

Number of stores expected to close: 23

12. J. Crew

Number of stores expected to close: 20

13. Macy’s

Number of stores expected to close: 11

14. Charming Charlie

Number of stores expected to close: 11

15. Last Call by Neiman Marcus (tie)

Number of stores expected to close: 10

15. Lord & Taylor (tie)

Number of stores expected to close: 10