Most of us have a trusted brand or favorite store that we rely on for our wardrobe. Maybe you've been shopping at Macy's since you first started buying yourself clothes, or you prefer a quick trip to Old Navy for fun but affordable upgrades. Simply put, if you're looking to update your seasonal staples or enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, certain clothing retailers are tried and true. Now, one iconic clothing chain has announced that it will be closing a significant number of locations this year, meaning you may have to find somewhere new to shop in the coming months. Read on to find out which classic clothing company is shutting down 40 stores.
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Many retailers have announced closures recently.
Other iconic retailers that have withstood the test of time have been forced to close their doors recently, including 70 Sears Hometown stores. Locations across the country took to social media to announce liquidation sales, mostly on individual Facebook pages, as reported by Axios. Transformco, the company that acquired Sears and Kmart in 2018, did not formally announce the closures or confirm which Sears Hometown stores would be shutting their doors permanently.
Another clothing retailer, more popular with the younger set, also announced it would be shuttering stores this year. On March 31, it was reported that 240 H&M stores would be closed. The trendy retailer was reportedly severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and later by the spread of the Omicron variant and "extensive restrictions" in some countries.
And while it's already hard to say goodbye to these locations, shoppers are now facing another closure announcement.
This brand known for its quality clothing and accessories is closing stores.
If you regularly shop at Chico's or White House Black Market (WHBM), you may be dismayed to learn that the retailer has announced plans to close a total of 40 stores in the 2022 fiscal year. These popular stores are go-to destinations for women, selling a wide variety of clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Chico's dates back to 1983 when it was founded in Sanibel, Florida. The White House was founded two years later in Baltimore, Maryland, and a new concept store, the Black Market, opened in 1995, according to the company's LinkedIn. The brand pair was then acquired by Chico's FAS in 2003.
According to an analysis from Market Screen, the stores that are closing are primarily "underperforming, mall-based Chico's and WHBM boutiques." The report didn't denote specific locations to be closed, nor when exactly they would be closing their doors.
The number of stores was described by executives as a "moving target."
On a June 7 earnings call, PJ Guido, chief financial officer for Chico's FAS, confirmed the number of Chico's and WHBM stores has been reduced from 1,410 to 1,264 since 2019. Despite—or perhaps because of—this 10 percent reduction, the company saw an increase in revenue, up 4.5 percent in the first quarter, compared with 2019. Guido also confirmed that the closure of exactly 40 stores is not set in stone.
"Although we are targeting up to 40 store closures in both Chico's and White House Black Market, store performance continues to improve, and this number will remain a moving target," Guido said.
The retailer is actually opening up more stores for a different brand.
Guido said that the company does not have intentions of opening any additional Chico's or WHBM stores, but it's not all bad news. The CFO noted that plans are in the works to open additional Soma stores, which primarily sell women's intimates and sleepwear.
"Going forward, we plan to open up to 30 Soma standalone stores in the back half of the year," Guido said on the earnings call. The retailer has currently identified 28 locations for new Soma stores and is looking for another two, Guido added when addressing a question from an analyst.
Molly Langenstein, president and chief executive officer for Chico's FAS, said that Soma "posted its seventh consecutive quarter of growth over the prior year," and saw a 0.5 percent increase when compared with last year's quarter.
"Soma's growth continues to meaningfully outpace the market in non-sport bras and panties for the quarter. We have a strong position in basic replenishment, bra, and panty inventory so we can meet our customers' needs," Langenstein said, adding that the company is also focusing on digital resources that "drove increased traffic and customers" to Soma, as well as WHBM and Chico's.
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